(HealthDay News) – For older people, short bouts of post-meal walking seem effective for controlling postprandial hyperglycemia, according to a study published online June 11 in Diabetes Care.

Loretta DiPietro, PhD, from the George Washington University School of Public Health in Washington, DC, and colleagues compared the effectiveness of three 15-minute bouts of post-meal walking with 45 minutes of sustained walking in a cohort of 10 inactive older (≥60 years of age) participants with a fasting blood glucose concentration between 105 and 125mg dL−1. Three randomly ordered exercise protocols were completed, spaced four weeks apart. The protocols were conducted over 48 hours and included a control day followed by a second day engaging in post-meal walking for 15 minutes or 45 minutes of sustained walking in the morning or afternoon.

The researchers found that 24-hour glycemic control was significantly improved with sustained morning walking and post-meal walking, compared with the control day. Compared with sustained morning or afternoon walking, post-meal walking was significantly more effective for lowering three-hour post-dinner glucose between the control and experimental day.

“In short, intermittent bouts of post-meal walking appear to be an effective way to control postprandial hyperglycemia in older people,” the authors write. “Given the excess disease burden associated with hyperglycemia in older age, and the recognized value of non-communicable disease prevention, there are enormous public health benefits to designing exercise programs that are enjoyable and effective within the populations needing them the most.”

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