Benefits of Yoga for Type 2 Diabetes
By 2030, an anticipated 552 million people will be affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus. Many cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented through inexpensive lifestyle adjustments, such as improved diet, physical exercise and reduced stress. Because diabetes accounts for 10 percent of U.S. healthcare expenses, there is an increasing need for safe, cost effective interventions to manage type 2 diabetes and delay further health complications.
In recent years, researchers have begun to explore yoga as a promising lifestyle intervention. Yoga has the ability to improve many health concerns related to type 2 diabetes, such as lowering blood glucose levels and reducing oxidative stress. Yoga’s emphasis on slow, static movements and restorative breathing, has been shown to lower stress, decrease blood pressure and assist in weight maintenance. The long, meditative breathing in yoga has the ability to shift the body from sympathetic (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (rest and digest) thus reducing overall stress in the body.
A major goal for someone with type 2 diabetes is to reduce their risk for developing cardiovascular disease and other health complications. Many studies have found that consistent yoga practice depresses overall cortisol levels (stress hormone), improves mood, lowers blood pressure and reduces risk for cardiovascular-related conditions. Regardless of your current health status, everyone can benefit from incorporating more of this mindful, meditative practice into their fitness routine.
Written By: Tori Parsons, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
Source: Journal of Diabetes Research