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Forget Dessert, Take a Walk Instead

By Donna Stark

Want to know when the laziest part of the holiday season is? It's not the morning after you decorate the entire house nor is it those few hours after you spend the day wrapping gifts. Usually, the laziest part of the month hits you right after your decadent holiday meal. And while most people simply unsnap the top of their pants and head straight to the couch to deal with it, that is the opposite of what you should be doing! Instead, you need to lace up your shoes and head out for a walk!

Forget Dessert, Take a Walk After Your Meal Instead

We all know that walking is good for our health, but it is especially so after a heavy meal! Now, that doesn't mean you need to jump up out of your chair immediately after your last bite and run to the door ... just be sure to get moving within 30 minutes to an hour of eating. Here are some of the top benefits that an after-meal walk can bring to your overall health and wellness.

  • Improved digestion - A short walk after meals can help your body with digestion, or the breaking down of the food you just consumed. It increases the rate at which the food moves through your body and reduces the risk of indigestion and heartburn. But the best part about this is that you may also feel less bloated.
  • Increases metabolism speed - Trying to lose those extra pounds? Walking after your meals supports good metabolism, and you know what that means, right? You can burn those calories faster, which means you may even be able to have a small piece of dessert if you are consistent with your walks!
  • Lowers blood sugar levels - Do you know what happens to the glucose levels in your body if you head directly to the couch after your meal and sit for hours? They can stay elevated for quite some time, but if you head outdoors for a walk, the muscles in your body will use that glucose and pull it out of circulation.
  • Supports quality sleep - Do you often go to bed with your mind racing about the day you just had or the next day's to-do list? Taking a walk after dinner will help reduce the jitters and stress that lead to disrupted sleep. The fresh air and physical activity may also help tire you out a bit so you can look forward to a good night of rest.

Walking for a Healthier Life

It's getting chillier outside, but you have thick socks, mittens, and a hat, so head outdoors after your meals and take a walk! Aim for at least 30 minutes of movement, but if you can't, just do what you can! The only thing that matters is that you take that first step!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Knightdale, N.C.

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