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Science recently paid homage to ancient folk wisdom when it concluded, in recent studies, that taking a short walk after meals is good for your health. Intuitively, previous generations knew what research now confirms. I suspect that, like so many of his contemporaries, my father had this knowledge arising from an appreciation of the practical aspects of life. I remember well that every night, before going to bed, he would walk around the block from our house once or twice.

Recently, a British publication specializing in sports medicine reported that walking a little, especially after lunch, helps to lower blood sugar levels. It’s not about sports, it’s about moderate activity and for a limited time – nothing that needs to go beyond five minutes. That would be enough for the glucose content in the bloodstream to rise and fall more gradually. After all, when walking we use food fuel precisely at the moment when the tank was refilled. With physical activity, the muscles end up absorbing some of the excess glucose.

A little walk taken regularly has a restorative effect for everyone. Even in homeopathic doses, exercise improves sleep quality, promotes self-esteem, awakens mood, sharpens and reasoning and is our ally in the war against the scales. For those dealing with diseases such as diabetes, the post-meal walk is essential, as the activity helps to avoid drastic fluctuations in sugar levels in the body. In addition, recent research has identified other benefits of walking. It was found that, during the height of the pandemic, people who managed to maintain the practice of daily exercise improved their immune defenses. Based on the evidence collected, they had a lower risk of developing infections and, in general, did not have severe forms of the disease.

Any activity, no matter how light, is better than none. If you don’t have five minutes, walk at least two, as the doctors themselves recommend. If you’re at the office, take advantage of your lunch break to go to a nearby restaurant and maybe extend your break with a cup of coffee on the next block, always thinking about increasing the distance to go back to work. If you’re operating from home, use that time between remote meetings to stretch your legs through the surrounding streets. The energy invested in any kind of exercise pays off in terms of health.

Much of what researchers see today our ancestors already knew, all of whom were responsible for assimilating and passing on a tradition from generation to generation. It is good not to doubt ancient folk wisdom.

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The article is in Portuguese

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