BRISK 10-MINUTE WALKS AFTER MEALS
Better Than 10,000 Steps!?
There is a lot of buzz around “getting in your 10,000 steps” these days, which is a good thing. Movement is good for us humans, AND I believe that you will get more Bang for Your Buck if go for 2-3 x 10-minute Brisk Walks every day.
Why Are 10-Minute Walks Better than Just Getting the 10,000 Steps In?
- They focus your attention on keeping the Pep in Your Step so you get your heart rate into Heart Rate Zone 2 which is 60-70% of your Heart Rate Max. This improves your general endurance where your body will get better at burning fat, and your muscular fitness will increase.
- They’re known to improve digestion and decrease gas.
- Quick walking aids in recovery as it improves blood flow to the entire body and it doesn’t take 90 minutes to complete.
- A 10-minute brisk walk is Just So Damn Easy to Do…enjoy your meal…walk at a good clip for 10 minutes…continue with your day.
- Even though the walk is short, because it is brisk, it is purported to improve insulin sensitivity.
- I have tested post-meal glucose and the effects of a brisk 10-minute walking using a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) and experienced a quick drop in glucose due to the walk. I plan on writing a short article on our 14-day experience using a CGM. For now, here’s a nude photo of us sporting our CGMs : )
Other Benefits of 10-Minute Walks
- You can get out of the house and breathe some fresh air.
- It gives you opportunities to meet new people or see people in your neighborhood. In Japan, strangers don’t normally greet each other, but I do just for fun, which occasionally makes people smile.
- It’s a nice segue between enjoying a meal and continuing on to the next event in your day
A Few Tweaks I Use:
When walking alone, I always breathe through my nose. I found this out by chance when I used to run. I had a tendency to run too hard and overexert myself. I looked for a solution to this problem and found that if I only breathed through my nose, it regulated my speed so that I could find a solid pace. Now I use nasal breathing when I walk, skip rope or ride a stationary bike. As I get to the upper end of my capacity to breathe through my nose, I know I am nearing the top of my Zone 2 Training (about 70% of my maximum heart rate).
Many nights I sleep with tape on my mouth as well, as I feel more rested the next day. More on this soon^^
Using a Wearable to Track Your Speed and Heart Rate
I am currently experimenting with the Oura Ring to learn how to track my recovery and sleep quality. I use it on my 10-minute walks to track my speed and heart rate. Zone 2 for me is betwen 102-118 BPM, so you can see that I was right at the bottom of Zone 2 at an average of 105 BPM. And my pace was 10:56/km. This is really necessary, but it’s fun and can be tracked with Apple Watch, Fitbit and the like. I’ll write more about Oura soon.
Deep Air Squats
If you are short on time, or if the weather isn’t ideal to do your walk, do 25-50 or more air squats as deeply as you can with good form instead. Use some of the biggest muscles in your body to get your blood flowing and absorb some of the glucose from your meal. Here’s a video explanation of a body weight squat aiming for a knee bend of about 90 degrees. Use this if you are a beginner. If you are ready for a full ROM (Range of Motion) body weight squat, please watch this video. You may need something to prop up your heels a bit. If you are wearing running shoes, the heels may be elevated enough to perform this without a prop.
If this seems a bit overwhelming to you, just start really small. Do a 10-minute walk after your dinner every evening and see how you feel in 7-14 days. Most people probably eat their largest meal of the day at night, so doing this walk after that meal will probably give most people the greatest benefits. If you have a partner, a child a dog or just a friend that lives nearby, invite them out for a walk with you. Share the joy!
I’d like to thank Stan Efferding for introducing us to this wonderful habit.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment.
Wishing you the best,