Recently, I became determined to shake things up with my exercise routine. I’m a high school teacher and most importantly a mom of two elementary aged boys. That leaves very little time for much else during the school year. I knew that I needed to find a way to sneak in some exercise without sacrificing precious time with my family. I don’t have the money to pay for a new gym membership and living in the south, the heat can sometimes be unbearable outside. I needed to find something that I could easily do by myself or with two very active boys.
After doing some research I came across a study that found that a 15-minute, moderate speed walk about 30 minutes after eating, exerts significant control over the high blood sugar of older people. While I don’t yet consider myself “older,” I could definitely benefit from lowering my blood sugar, and in the process jump-start a new routine.
In the northern Atlanta area, we are blessed with walking parks around nearly every corner. However, even if you don’t have a nearby walking park, you can very easily adopt this routine in your own environment. Here are a few tips and suggestions to make sure you get the most out of your post-dinner walk.
- Wait at least 20 minutes after eating before you take a stroll.
- The post dinner dishes can wait! If you allow yourself to get sidetracked with chores around the house, you’ll find that you’ll lose your motivation rather quickly.
- Make it fun and educational! Play a game of I Spy, or incorporate a nature lesson into your walk if your kids are coming along for the fun.
- Start slow. Shorter walks help to build up your endurance and they ensure that you don’t burn out during your first week.
- Once you’ve successfully incorporated a walk into your evening plans, begin mixing it up by alternating with jogging every other day. You’ll see how quickly your endurance increases!
- One of my favorite post-dinner walk ideas is to make it a pajama walk! Your kids need to be completely ready for bed. Then put them in a stroller, wagon, on their bikes or just allow them to walk with you around your neighborhood. Some good fresh air is the best recipe to make sure your little stinkers get a good night’s sleep!
Just taking a small amount of time to decompress after a busy day is probably my favorite part of incorporating this routine into my life. It’s such a simple and easy way to ensure that you’re keeping your body and mind healthy. Do yourself a favor and start tonight!