Yoga for diabetes. Who would have thought? The intersection of eastern and western cultures can be fascinating. It turns out that this link, particularly when it involves diabetes, can also be amazing for your health!
Yoga is most commonly known as a series of movements or exercises, often called Asanas. Most Americans equate these exercises with stretching, flexibility and some strength conditioning.
Yoga, however, is actually a way of life encompassing “8 Limbs” or tenants, only one of which is the exercise component.
How Does Yoga Help?
Yoga is a series of exercise that not only helps tone and build muscle, but also can be used to stretch and condition internal organs and glands. Startling research shows that the exercises actually help in a number of ways.
- Weight Loss. Like any exercise program, yoga can help you lose weight.
- Reduces Blood Glucose Levels. Yoga has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels.
- Maintain Healthy Glucose Levels. One study found it reduced incidences of hyperglycemia and reduced medications needed to treat hypoglycemia.
- Stimulates Insulin Production. Incredibly, another study found that yoga increased insulin production by stimulating the pancreas.
- Controls infection. Yoga was found to reduce complication from infections and lower incidences of ketoacidosis.
We are still continuing to discover the beneficial effects of yoga both for those with diabetes and pre-diabetes. What is abundantly clear is that yoga is a simple and inexpensive way to exercise. Why not incorporate it into your day?
Yoga and meditation also help with overall well being and developing positive health benefits.
Sahay BK, Role of Yoga in Diabetes, J. Assoc. Physicians India, 2007 Feb;55:121-6.
Manjunatha S, Vempati RP, Ghosh D, Bijlani RL, “An investigation into the acute and long-term effects of selected yogic postures on fasting and postprandial glycemia and insulinemia in healthy young subjects.” Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 2005 Jul-Sep;49(3):319-24.
Jain SC, Uppal A, Bhatnagar SO, & Talukdar B, “A study of response pattern of non-insulin dependent diabetics to yoga therapy.” Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 1993 Jan:19(1): 69-74.