The lost habit of the evening constitutional

I think it used to be common that people would go for a stroll in the evening after dinner. A friend who visited Italy in her younger days still talks about how people in town went for a promenade in the evening. I saw similar activity when a friend and I were in Provence in 2007 (aside: my, how time flies!). Back home, it seems like only the dog owners are out walking around dinner time.

It turns out that going for a walk after meals isn’t just a pleasant social convention. A bit of low-intensity activity after meals helps keep blood sugar stable (article on post-meal activity). Stable blood sugar helps us avoid a number of long term health problems (Mayo Clinic blog).

Not sure what to do? Take an easy 10-15 minute walk, engage in active play with your child or pet, wash the dishes by hand or whatever else appeals. Just don’t stay seated. Once you’ve established the habit of getting 10-15 minutes of activity after dinner, see if you can add some movement after breakfast or lunch.

If you’re motivated to do even more, you can limit the amount of fast carbs you eat and focus on eating more slow-burning carbs (list of slow carbs).


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