5 Benefits of Walking After Meals

Key takeaways:

  • Walking after a meal can potentially offer additional health benefits over walking at other times of the day.
  • Walking after eating may aid digestion, improve blood sugar control, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Even short walks after every meal can improve your health.

Most people are aware of at least some of the numerous physical and mental health benefits of walking, and almost all health advice suggests trying to incorporate as much walking into your lifestyle as possible.

But, most of this advice focuses on hitting a certain daily step count, not when you should walk.

This leaves most of us assuming that walking at any time of the day is equally beneficial. 

However, research suggests that there are additional benefits to walking after a meal, such as improving digestion, regulating blood sugar, and decreasing your risk of heart disease. 

Keep reading to learn more about the science behind walking after eating, including potential benefits and how to get started.

What are the Benefits of Walking After Eating? 

Walking at any time of the day can improve your health. For example, walking can boost your mood and may even help you live longer

The good news is that walking after a meal may maximize these benefits, and potentially provide additional advantages.

Here are some of the top benefits of walking after a meal:

Aids Digestion

It used to be a common practice to take a walk after eating, the so-called “constitutional walk.“

The thought was that taking a walk after a meal would help kickstart the digestive process.

While most people don’t necessarily use the term “constitutional walks” anymore, it turns out that there is research to support this old theory. 

Studies have found that walking after eating may support digestion and GI reduce symptoms.

For example, a small study found that walking after eating speeds up the digestive process, though subjects reported that it did not improve symptoms of indigestion.

However, a more recent study involving individuals who experienced frequent abdominal bloating found that just walking just 10 to 15 minutes after a meal may indeed improve these types of symptoms.

In fact, after four weeks, the subjects reported that a post-meal walk was more helpful for improving digestion symptoms such as decreased belching, flatulence, bloating, and abdominal pain than medications.

May Help Balance Blood Sugar Levels

Chronically elevated blood glucose levels can increase the risk of developing insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

The good news is one of the major benefits of walking after eating is that it can lower blood glucose levels, the technical term for blood sugar. 

Indeed, numerous studies have found that walking after eating can be a great way to lower your blood sugar. These findings have been seen in adults at risk for diabetes as well as those who already have diabetes.

Plus, the benefits were seen with just 15 minutes of walking after each meal.

Even if you have healthy blood sugar levels, taking a walk after a meal can help your body use blood sugar. This can keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Preventing spikes in blood sugar will help reduce the amount of insulin that your pancreas releases.

Chronic high insulin levels contribute to developing insulin resistance. 

Therefore, walking after eating can potentially be both a preventative and helpful way to manage diabetes.

May Lower Heart Health Risks

Walking, like other forms of aerobic exercise, is good for your heart. Walking strengthens the heart muscle and improves the efficiency of your heart to pump blood throughout your body, and has been shown to reduce blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Studies have found that taking three short walks (just 10 minutes per walk) throughout the day may reduce blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure. Although this study didn’t require the participants to take walks specifically after each meal, doing so can be a great way to do so.

Taking a short walk after every meal can be a great way to improve your heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Could Help Reduce Triglycerides

Triglycerides are a type of fatty molecule. High blood triglyceride levels are associated with a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

One small study involving inactive older women found that taking multiple short daily walks lowered post-meal triglyceride levels. 

Supports Healthy Weight Management 

Walking for exercise may support healthy weight loss. Walking burns calories and can support a healthy metabolism. 

Although there isn’t any evidence to suggest that walking right after eating burns more calories or increases weight loss more than walking at any other point in the day, walking after a meal may help you establish a consistent fitness routine. And, consistency is key for weight loss.

Moreover, some research has found that taking several shorter bouts of walking throughout the day may be better for weight loss than one continuous walking workout. Therefore, walking after every meal can help you naturally incorporate numerous walks throughout the day.

Some people also find that if they know that they are going to take a walk after the meal, they may make healthier food choices and be less inclined to overeat. This is because it’s more comfortable to feel healthy and light for a walk rather than bloated and bogged down with a heavy meal.

Helpful Tips for Post-Meal Walks

Here are some other tips for walking after eating:

  • There isn’t a consensus about how long you should walk after a meal, but studies suggest that even a 10- to 15-minute walk after each meal may be enough to improve your health.
  • To maximize the benefits of walking after eating, try to walk as soon as you can after finishing your meal.
  • Involve your family or friends for social support and accountability.
  • Listen to music or podcasts if you are walking alone to prevent boredom.
  • Use a pedometer or fitness watch to keep track of your steps.
  • Carry a water bottle to stay hydrated if you are taking longer walks.
  • Make sure you have supportive footwear.
  • Start gradually if you are a beginner with a short walk after breakfast. Add another short walk after lunch and dinner when you feel ready and if your schedule allows.


Walking after a meal may provide advantages over walking at other points of the day. A post-meal walk may aid digestion, lower blood sugar levels, and improve your heart health. 

Taking a walk after each meal can also help you build a consistent exercise routine. This may help you reach your weight loss goals while helping you feel good about the commitment you have made to your health.