Walk away from diabetes

Preventing diabetes doesn't have to be a big challenge. In fact, it could be as easy as putting one foot in front of the other, because new research shows that walking after eating can help your body deal with the spike in blood sugar that hits after meals.

You don't have to walk fast, and you don't even have to go very far. All you have to do is wait about 30 minutes after each meal, and then hit the pavement for about 15 minutes at a pace of roughly 3 miles per hour.

That speed isn't very fast at all.

But walking after eating can actually help your body control its post-meal blood sugar levels even better than a single 45-minute walk taken at another time of the day, according to a set of experiments on 10 overweight, sedentary, and pre-diabetic seniors.

The benefits last for up to three hours after that walk, or most of the way to your next meal. But they don't carry over, so if you want to keep getting that benefit, you have to keep walking after eating every day, and after every meal, according to the study published in Diabetes Care.

That should be easy enough for most people -- but let me throw in a bit of a reality check here as well.

If you're overweight, sedentary, and pre-diabetic like the seniors in the new study, then that walking after eating is an excellent place to start. But by itself, I don't think it's truly going to keep diabetes at bay.

To really prevent this disease -- and for overall good health and fitness -- you need more activity than just a 15-minute walk. And don't forget that what's in your meals is even more important than what you do after them -- so along with increasing your activity levels, work on eating better and losing weight.

I recommend the Mediterranean diet, which can help prevent diabetes and protect the heart without placing too many limits on your food options or leaving you hungry after meals the way other diets will.