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All You Need to Know Post-Meal Exercises

All You Need to Know About Post-Meal Exercises


What are Post-Meal Exercises?

Ever heard of post-meal exercise?

Do you know that exercising a bit after dinner is good for your health? It helps you to strengthen your muscles, keep your body fit and improves circulation. It's a new way of looking at the number of calories you burn. These extra burning calories come after exercising after meals.

The recommendations on physical activity for specific health conditions are generally more focused on the duration, intensity, and frequency of exercise but not the timing of exercise or should they be done after meals or not.

Post-meal exercises are moderate-intensity exercises like walking, stair climbing, and yoga. Studies have shed light on the various benefits that post-meal exercises can provide and are a great tool in your health management program(1 Trusted Source
Light Exercise Following a Meal Has Tremendous Impact on Triglyceride Levels

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After a meal our body is busy digesting the food and as a result, blood gets shifted from muscles to organs involved in digestion. Post-meal exercises redirect blood flow to muscles, which helps provide energy and improves muscle strength.

How Long Should You Wait to Workout after Eating?

What we eat and when we eat are important to reap the benefits of a workout routine. Skipping meals for a long period before exercising can make one feel sluggish or lightheaded.

Early morning or after breakfast exercises (long duration, moderate-to-high intensity) can be performed about an hour later if the breakfast meal is light and small. If one plans to workout after a heavy lunch, it is advisable to wait for 3 to 4 hours and then start the routine. Whereas, a snack or any small meal can be consumed 1 to 3 hours before exercising.

There are exercises that can be performed immediately after meals as well. Low-to-moderate intensity exercises like a quick, brisk walk or yoga provide benefits when performed post-meals.

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What are the Simple Yoga Poses after Dinner?

Yoga performed post-dinner can help in improving digestion of foods, makes one feel light, and improves the health of organs. Here are 5 simple yoga poses that one can try after dinner,

Simple Yoga Poses after Dinner
  • Vajraasana: To try this asana, fold both legs and kneel down on the mat or floor, keep the spine straight and place your hands on your knees. Take deep breaths and concentrate on breathing. Vajraasana after dinner is the best yoga asana that focuses on the abdomen and upper body and relaxes one’s breathing. This pose increases blood flow to the stomach and is considered the best post-meal exercise for digestion. This yoga pose can be practiced for 10 minutes.
  • Gomukhasana: To try this asana, first fold your left leg such that the left leg is below the right hip. Now place your right leg over the left leg so that both the knees are over each other. Keep the spine straight and take both hands to the back such that the right-hand holds the left hand. Hold this position and take deep breaths for about a minute and repeat on the opposite side. This yoga pose stretches the stomach muscles, thereby improving digestion.
  • Ardha Chandraasana: To perform this yoga pose, stand on a mat with legs spread out wide. Bend sideways to the left, reaching yourankle or the ground, and lift your right hand up. This pose is helpful when performed after dinner because it stretches the abdomen and stomach muscles and boosts digestion.
  • Seated Spinal Twist: To try this, sit on the floor with legs spread out straight. Bend in your right leg and place the right foot outside the left thighs. Wrap your right leg with your left arms and twist towards the right. Keep your right hand on the floor and stretch to the right while breathing. Repeat this on the other side. This yoga pose helps in relieving bloating or any stomach discomfort and eases the passage of stools.
  • Wide Knee Child Pose: To get into this pose, kneel on the floor, keeping the knees wider than your hips. Sit back on your heels and extend your hands forward letting the head touch the floor. Take slow, deep breaths once you reach the position. This yoga pose helps in relaxing your digestive system.
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What are the Benefits of Post-Meal Exercise?

Benefits of Post-Meal Exercise

Post-meal exercises can be health-promoting activities. Exercises after meals are a rewarding game for people with diabetes. After-meal exercises have shown to be beneficial in bringing blood glucose control. Studies have found that exercising 45 minutes after breakfast reduced postprandial blood glucose levels and a brisk walk for 30 minutes after a meal can favor achieving 24-hour glycemic control in people with diabetes. Short, intermittent bouts of post-meal exercises can be effective in preventing hyperglycemia in the elderly.

Post-meal walks can also be split into three bouts of 15 minutes walks. Stair climbing and descending can also be performed after meals as they may decrease blood glucose levels, improve glucose uptake, and also facilitate glucose clearance.

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After dinner exercises have also been studied to understand the benefits associated with specific meals. Workouts performed after dinner may help in improving insulin production by stimulating glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) hormone and preventing postprandial glucose spikes. Exercises performed after dinner may also assist in controlling 3-hour post-dinner glucose levels. Exercising after dinner has shown to be beneficial in improving risk factors of cardiovascular disease such as reduced triglyceride levels, improved insulin clearance, and low blood glucose levels.

Post-meal exercises have been found to augment concentrations of antioxidants. It can also help improve health in people with features of metabolic syndrome. Practicing yoga after meals is beneficial in improving digestion. Going on a brisk walk for 30 minutes immediately after meals can help in weight loss. People aiming to lose weight can include brisk walks post-meals in their workout schedule for better results.

What are the Side Effects of Post-Meal Exercise?

Exercising immediately after consuming foods can trigger adverse symptoms for some people. There are possibilities that they may experience gastrointestinal discomforts like nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, and fatigue.

People with pre-existing gastrointestinal discomfort should be cautious when engaging in after-eating exercises.

People with diabetes who often experience hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels) should be cautious. Untrained individuals with diabetes, when involved in moderate-intensity exercises, may experience hypoglycemia.

Summary

Post-meal exercises, although are light-to-moderate in intensity, they cast several health benefits like controlling blood sugar levels, weight loss, improved digestion, and many more. Yoga, walking, and climbing stairs are some of the best post-meal exercises one can practice. Engaging in short bouts of exercises after meals can be coupled with daily errands like dog walking or walking to the market to make it achievable and enjoyable.

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