Diabetes can exacerbate some conditions, like high blood pressure, heart disease or circulation. Yoga can help directly, like stabilizing blood sugar levels. Increasing activity and eating healthy are exceptionally good for controlling diabetes. Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that most people can do. There are several poses that have proven especially beneficial for diabetics.
You might be surprised you’re already doing a few yoga positions.
Do you think you’re doing the phalakasana? Probably not. However, you may be if you’re doing the forearm plank as part of your workout. It works the whole body and helps regulate blood sugar levels, while improving insulin sensitivity. Planks—phalakasana poses—can be done by people of all ages and most levels of fitness. It can be modified for beginners who have never exercised.
Yoga relieves stress.
Yoga can help lower high blood pressure, while reducing the potential for heart disease when you do yoga poses. Yoga relieves stress and stress can raise blood sugar levels and increase blood pressure. Stress increases the production of cortisol. Cortisol plays a role in increasing the amount of visceral fat—the most dangerous type of fat. The more visceral fat you have, the more risk you have of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Stress can also lead to stress eating, compounding the problem.
The reduction of cortisol when doing yoga can also reduce your feeling of hunger.
The more stressed you are, the more cortisol you have and the hungrier you are. That can cause you to eat more and make diabetes worse. It causes the liver to produce release more sugar to help the muscles get ready for flight or fight. That in turn, causes the body to release more insulin and the vicious cycle starts to get out of hand, creating first insulin resistance, then diabetes. Not only will yoga help reduce stress, it reduces inflammation. It increases adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory hormone.
- Yoga can help with weight control, which helps control diabetes. While it doesn’t burn as many calories as some other types of exercise, it still burns extra calories. Studies found it also leads to more mindful eating habits.
- Yoga can help improve overall sleep patterns and lead to a sounder, higher quality sleep. Lack of sleep causes an imbalance in the satiety/hunger hormones, making you hungrier, which leads to more weight gain.
- Yoga helps build muscles. The more muscles you have, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight. A new study found that the more weight you lose, the more likely your type 2 diabetes will go away.
- Whether you start yoga or some other form of exercise, healthy eating is also important for controlling diabetes. Like all forms of exercise, it can also improve your overall physical and mental well-being.
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