SELF Principle Podcast

Walking and Diabetes: A simple strategy to lower your blood sugar

September 03, 2021 Sean Hashmi, MD Episode 25
SELF Principle Podcast
Walking and Diabetes: A simple strategy to lower your blood sugar
Show Notes Transcript

Walking is one of the most underrated exercises. When it comes to diabetes, walking can be very helpful in lowering blood sugars. However, what is the best way to walk, and what time of the day is optimal for glucose control. Here we look at interesting research comparing 45 minutes of continuous walking versus 15 minutes of walking after each meal. The results were pretty surprising.

Welcome everyone to Solve principal, as always, I'm Dr. Sean Hashmi. So today's topic is about an extremely underrated activity, in my opinion, which is walking, but not just walking, but specifically, what type of walking can you do to supercharge your sugar control? So some of the things that is really important to talk about walking is how incredibly beneficial it is to our entire body. For example, walking has been linked to helping your heart, helping your cardiovascular respiratory fitness. It can improve your bones. It can make them stronger. It can help against someone that stubborn belly fat. And we've talked about that in the past. It can also lower your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, a variety of different cancers and of course, have to die. But while it does all of those beneficial things, it also has some really interesting benefits on the rest of our mind body connection. It improves memory and improve sleep. It's been known to reduce stress and to put it all together while it's doing all those amazing things that's also improving our immune function at the same time. So in this particular study, what they wanted to ask the question was, what helps to control your sugars better? Is it walking for 45 minutes straight? Does that help you 24 hours sugars and your sugars after a meal better? Or is it doing short Bouse, meaning 15 minutes after each meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So let's dive into this study and kind of get some idea about what's going on. In order to understand the study, we need to understand a little bit of the background for why they decided to do this study. So the first thing is, is as we get older, what's really interesting and hard on people is that insulin secretion actually gets worse and worse. So the older you get, the less insulin you're secreting, the more that sugar has a chance to float around into all sorts of damage. The other thing is, is when that sugar floats around, it's linked with a higher risk of developing type two diabetes. Now, as you know, a high fat diet will cause there to be insulin resistance. And then you throw in all the sugar floating around. And is that one two punch that can lead to die ideas? And it's very unhealthy for you. But what makes this even more concerning is that the highest sugar exposure we get is after a meal. And for most people, the biggest meal of the day is not breakfast is not the lunch. It's actually dinner. And so what happens as the day goes on is our insulin secretion actually decreases in the evening. Growth hormone secretion increases in the evening is pulsate actually shuts down insulin secretion. So as the evening rolls around, you have less insulin. And then as you get older, you have less insulin. But what's beautiful about exercise is exercise. That some of the same things that insulin does so what insulin does is it stimulates these glute four transporter proteins. And what they do is they come to the surface and they basically help the skeleton muscles to fucking all that sugar. Well, exercise does exactly the same thing. It stimulates these glue for proteins. So the question at hand is as if you're somebody who doesn't have diabetes. Great. How do you optimize your health now, if you're somebody who already has diabetes and is struggling with high sugars? Also, how do you optimize your health? What are some techniques you can do? Is it the small Boutot exercise, or is it the long continuous when it comes to simply lower your sugar as measured after a meal and is measured all worth the entire 24 hours. So in this particular study, they looked at ten people over the age of 60. Now they fit this in purpose because as you get older, it's even harder to control sugar. So it makes sense. All of them had a BMI around 30 or so, but overall was less than 35. All of their sugars were elevated anywhere in the prediabetes range. So these guys, on average, has sugars between 105 to 125. And there were really two groups. The first group was a post meal group. In other words, this group was actually exercising for 15 minutes, so they would have a meal wait 30 minutes and then to a 15 minutes walk. And the walk was moderate intensity. Nothing crazy going on very low in mats going on than the other group exercise at a fixed time either at 1030 in the morning, at 430 in the afternoon. And it was for 45 minutes straight. So you got the 15 minutes group and you got the 45 minutes group. And the question is, which one is better now, in order to make sure that they were able to get really good data, they hooked these people up with continuous glucose monitors. These monitors were basically checking their sugars in their blood 24/7. So they were able to get a really good reading of what's the impact of any activity and anything else going on. All right. So if you're wondering which one is better, let's dive into the results. So here we go for comparing the 15 minutes walking group versus the 45 minutes group. So the 15 minutes was three times a day. So it's total minute time was 45 minutes. But they did it after each meal, and there was no difference in comparing both of those groups. So in other words, over a 24 hours period, there was no difference in sugar, but that's not where the study ends. What's really interesting about the study is what about the largest meal for most people? Which one was more effective for controlling the sugar? And it turns out that a quick 15 minutes walk after dinner, 30 minutes waiting go for a quick 15 minutes walk was actually more effective than exercising either in the morning or the afternoon. So here's the ultimate question. If you're watching this and you don't have diabetes and you're not worried about that. But you want to be healthier. A simple thing is just add a 15 minutes walk after dinner. It will do your body a whole lot of good, especially if that's the biggest meal of the day. It will help to pull all of that sugar and have it utilized by your muscles instead of sticking around, doing all sorts of damage to your blood vessels and, of course, turning into stubborn belly fat. The other thing is, from a science perspective, both types of exercise are 45 minutes straight or 15 minutes three times a day. They both produce similar results. But the real question is, what are people more likely to stick to? Is it a 45 minutes session or is it short bouts? And I can tell you in my clinical experience, what I find is whenever we make the task at hand as small as possible, as short as possible. In this particular case, 15 minutes. When we make it so simple that all you have to do is get up and move it's much easier and much more sustainable. So there you have it. If you want to go ahead and supercharge how your body is pulling in sugars after a meal, just go for a 15 minutes walk. And if you're somebody who's really come home and wants to exercise, etc. That's all fine. But remember, walking is one of the most underrated exercise out there, and really, we all should be doing it every single day. And there's so many little things you can do part further away. When you go to the grocery store, take one or two flights of stairs every time you need to go up so that you don't have to take the elevator. Stand up while you're at work, walk once or twice to the cooler. When you have to go only once, take the long way. All these little steps ultimately do over. I want to thank you guys so much for checking us out this week for this really interesting topic. I'd love to hear. What are the topics you guys want to hear about? What's on your mind? Let me know, send me a message, and I'll be sure to look at the data around it at the end of the day. Everything that's on this channel is based on research. It's not an opinion, it's not high, and it's all about helping you live your best life ever. Thank you so much for joining us.