Yoga is a practice that has a myriad of health benefits, but are you aware of its benefits for diabetes? Even though you may find it strange this age-old practice can offer you significant benefits when it comes to diabetes. Many people suffering from diabetes mellitus are turning to yoga to manage their condition and improve their overall lifestyle. Regular practice of yoga can help in reducing blood pressure, stress levels, and increase overall wellbeing.
How yoga is beneficial for people with diabetes?
Yoga is an ancient Indian discipline that originated 5000 years ago. It is an amalgamation of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that provide a sense of inner well-being along with physical and mental comfort. It is proven that the elements of yoga such as yogic breathing, physical posture, kriyas, and meditation help in mitigating stress and regulating blood sugar levels. A busy lifestyle, lack of motivation, and lack of open space minimize the chances of doing any form of exercise. Moreover, their weight and physical inactivity leave them with zero capacity to exercise. Henceforth it makes yoga the best form of workout as it gives them a gentle form of movement, lots of deep breathing, and meditation which leads to both physical and mental wellbeing.
Here are some benefits of yoga for people with diabetes:
1. It offers you gentle movement
We have to admit- not everyone who is diagnosed with diabetes starts running a marathon the very next day. If you haven’t been exercising for a while, then the gentle stretches of yoga bring movement to your body. We all know the risks of living a sedentary lifestyle and modern technology has made it worse. Some forms of exercise are more vigorous than others, but you can start with some gentle poses. Also, yoga is for everyone, so even if you are overweight you can modify your practice as per your fitness level with the help of your yoga teacher.
2. Reduce blood pressure
Certain yoga poses benefit people living with high blood pressure by increasing their blood circulation in their bodies. Those yoga poses restrict your blood flow, this way it stimulates the proper blood circulation after the release of the pose. High blood pressure is often associated with type 2 diabetes and yoga helps in maintaining blood pressure.
Yoga also incorporates pranayama. When it comes to pranayama for diabetes control Anulom Vilom tops the list as it is very gentle and safe for everyone including people living with high blood pressure. People who practice yoga 3 to 5 times a week have lower blood pressure rather than those who do not practice yoga.
3. Lower the risk of diabetic neuropathy
Neuropathy means damage to their nerves and it is one of the complications of diabetes. In neuropathy, the person first starts feeling the tingling sensation in their toes or fingers or hands; then it moves upwards. It can result in altered functioning of internal organs. Practicing yoga daily for 20 to 30 minutes improves the functioning of nerves. It also boosts hormone levels, metabolism, and blood glucose levels that overall improve nerve health.
4. Improve your digestive system
Over time, people with diabetes suffer from poor digestion. It happens due to poor functioning of the vagus nerve of our stomach. There are certain yoga poses such as the bow pose, boat pose, and some gentle twists that massage your abdominal organs and improve your digestion. Yoga pose such as Wind- Relieving yoga pose relieve you from flatulence. Also, deep breathing and meditation help in calming your whole body and releasing toxins. Regular practice of yoga will strengthen your digestive system and relieve you from constipation, bloating, indigestion, etc.
5. Rejuvenates your pancreas
If you are suffering from diabetes then your body becomes resistant to insulin – a hormone secreted by the pancreas. There are several yoga poses such as Half Spinal twist, Bow pose, and Plow pose that stimulate the beta-cells of the pancreas gland to produce insulin. Regular yoga practice stimulates your overall endocrine system. As a result, your body receives more insulin, which is beneficial in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
6. Improves your overall cardiac health
Yoga overall improves your cardiovascular health by reducing your cholesterol, BMI, and blood pressure. It also improves your overall blood circulation, which is great for your heart health. Apart from an overall reduction in stress and anxiety helps in improving your overall cardiovascular health.
7. Improve your joint health
Let’s face it – if you are overweight then it adversely affects your overall joint health. Apart from that, when you are suffering from diabetes you will feel pain in your arms, knees, or ankles. Yoga strengthens the muscles around your joints which protects your joints. Practice Triangle pose and Bridge pose if you have knee pain. Also, regular stretching improves your range of motion and overall mobility. It also maintains the health of the cartilage of your joints, which prevents your joints.
8. Reduce blood sugar
You will witness that regular practice of yoga offers you a plethora of benefits. Since it is also a form of exercise, it improves insulin sensitivity in your body. When your muscles and liver cells become more sensitive to insulin, it allows the glucose from the bloodstream to the cells which helps in stabilizing your blood sugar level. It also increases the metabolism that helps you achieve your normal weight, which also increases insulin sensitivity in your body.
9. It makes you feel good
Regular practice of yoga helps in reducing the level of stress hormones in your body, i.e. cortisol which further causes your body to release more glucose in your bloodstream. When you practice conscious deep breathing it makes you calm and composed, which lowers the secretion of cortisol in your body and further stabilizes the blood sugar level. Apart from that, yoga involves lots of stretching, which releases endorphins that enhance your mood and make you happy.
10. It balances and rejuvenates you from the inside out
Your body is full of complex systems and when you are healthy and happy it brings balance to these systems. Yoga makes you aware of these systems and your joints and how you are moving through the poses. You feel every alignment and how your whole body is moving with each pose. It also rejuvenates your internal system and makes you healthy and happy from the inside, which is a must for a diabetic patient.
Regular practice of yoga can have a great impact on your overall health and wellbeing. It enhances your quality of life. It keeps a check on your blood glucose level. One should practice yoga daily for 30 minutes in the morning and evening to see the desired result. However, it is best to consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine.