Are you aware of the various diabetes and yoga benefits? While this combo may seem strange at first, yoga offers diabetics some significant benefits. If you have type 2 diabetes, you already know that maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is crucial to your overall long-term health. You also know that finding a diet and exercise plan that you can stick to is tricky. Yoga is a fantastic form of physical exercise and mental meditation that offers a gentle introduction to movement for diabetic patients. But why is yoga so beneficial for type 2 diabetics?
10 of the Main Benefits of Yoga for Diabetes Patients
1. Reduced Stress Levels
While most people think of stress as a mental condition, stress can have detrimental effects on the physical body. Type 2 diabetes can cause additional stress, which in turn can affect your body’s glucose levels. Stress causes your body to enter fight or flight mode, and all of your blood is directed to your muscles and limbs. For diabetic patients, this can result in unsafe spikes in blood sugar levels. Yoga is a movement-based meditation that is proven to reduce stress. Because the practice focuses on regulating the breath and refocusing the mind, you will leave each session feeling centered and calm.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
Yoga can help people with high blood pressure by improving the body’s circulation. By holding certain poses that restrict the body’s blood flow, yoga can actually stimulate the body’s blood flow after the pose is released. Type 2 diabetes usually goes hand in hand with high blood pressure. So, practicing yoga can help keep your blood pressure within a healthy range.
3. Improved Digestion
Diabetes can affect various parts of the body over time, including the stomach’s vagus nerve. Some diabetic patients may even suffer from gastroparesis or slow digestion. Certain yoga poses, such as the boat pose, bow pose, cobra pose, and twists can open up the digestive tract and help to stimulate the digestive system and alleviate the symptoms of slow digestion.
4. Enhanced Concentration
Diabetes can affect a range of conflictive functions, including memory, learning, and concentration. The brain requires around 25% of the body’s blood. If there are high levels of glucose in the blood, this will affect the brain. The meditative aspect of yoga can help to focus the mind and develop the brain’s ability to concentrate.
5. Rejuvenate Pancreatic Cells
With type 2 diabetes, your body has built up a resistance to insulin, the hormone made in the pancreas. Because many asanas in yoga target the pancreas, yoga for sugar control is an effective practice. Poses like the bow pose, half-spinal twist, and plough pose work to massage the abdomen and encourage the pancreas to secrete insulin. Yoga also targets the endocranial glands, which can help the body to use insulin more effectively.
6. Exercise the Muscles
One of the benefits of yoga for type 2 diabetes is that the practice can strengthen the muscles. Diabetes can create problems in the muscles. When the blood has too much glucose, it struggles to reach the major muscle groups. Over time, a lack of blood flow in the muscles can lead to cell death and a loss of muscle mass. Yoga helps stimulate the blood flow in the muscles, and the practice can help the body to rebuild any lost muscle mass.
7. Weight Loss
Many diabetic patients are encouraged by their doctors to lose weight. Excess weight can make diabetes more dangerous and harder to control. While many people think of yoga as a slow, easy form of exercise, it can actually be quite rigorous. Many doctors recommend yoga for diabetes type 2 as it can ease patients into a form of exercise that will promote steady weight loss.
8. Strengthen Your Joints
Diabetes can often result in weakened joints — a condition called diabetic arthropathy. You may notice diabetes joint pain in your knees, ankles, or arms. Yoga strengthens the muscles around the joints, helping to keep them protected and strong. If you experience diabetes knee pain, for instance, poses such as bridge pose, triangle pose, and half-moon pose can be helpful.
9. Develop Strength and Balance
Recent studies suggest that diabetes can affect your balance. It is reported that diabetes can affect the body’s vestibular structures. The vestibular system is the sensory system in charge of our sense of balance and spatial awareness. With a dysfunctioning vestibular system, diabetic patients may be at a higher risk of falls. Yoga is excellent for rebalancing the body’s vestibular system by helping with coordination, focus, and strength.
10. Heart Health
High blood glucose can eventually damage blood vessels and nerves, eventually leading to heart disease. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s important to maintain a healthy heart when it comes to managing your diabetes. Help to keep your heart healthy by practicing yoga. Yoga helps to stimulate blood flow around the body, reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications later in life. Interested in learning more? Join our community group on Facebook, “Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together” to get advice from thousands of diabetics.