Study: Light Exercise After Meals Can Improve Heart Health

We know that eating well and staying active keep you healthy, but we’re still in the process of discovering the best times to eat and exercise. Through a study by the American College of Sports Medicine, it turns out light exercise specifically after a meal can help improve your heart health.

Picture: Adam Dachis/Flickr

Here’s why:

“High triglyceride levels can put individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and other heart-related conditions. Regular exercise is a good way to keep triglycerides from becoming elevated, and the results of this study may help individuals manage their triglyceride levels more effectively by considering the timing,” said the primary investigator, Wataru Aoi, Ph.D., of Kyoto Prefectural University in Kyoto, Japan.

In a small sample of healthy participants who were not currently participating in an exercise program, a low-intensity exercise combination of walking and light resistance exercises suppressed the elevation of post-meal triglyceride concentration after eating a high-fat meal. This effect was noted in VLDL, LDL, and HDL fractions.

These findings seem to conflict with the more commonly-held belief that exercise before eating is better as it boosts your metabolism and aids in better digestion, but the two don’t necessarily contradict one another. Whether you exercise before or not, it looks like you will do yourself a favour by moving around post-meal. After all, it makes sense. When your body is working to digest food, lying around probably isn’t going to help.

You can learn more about the ACSM on its website.

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