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Sweet Yoga

Jun 6, 2008
It is widely known that exercise helps combat the symptoms of diabetes. Along with nutrition modifications, it helps diabetics lead healthier lives thereby avoiding serious complications associated with the disease. Recommended forms of exercise vary according to a person's interests and abilities. Exercise works to lower blood glucose or blood sugar levels by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin and using glucose as fuel. In addition, exercise can reduce stress level which has been linked to diabetes.

At the Yoga Biomedical Trust, founded by biochemist Dr. Robin Monro in conjunction with the Indian Yoga Research Foundation, studies were conducted to measure the effects of yoga practice on diabetic participants. What they found was that practicing yoga for just 30 minutes a day helps reduce blood sugar levels and alleviate stress. It was expected to find the blood sugar level reduction because exercise can greatly impact the conversion of sugar to energy and insulin sensitivity. However, what was discovered regarding stress, the diabetic and yoga,was just as beneficial.

In the study, two groups were formed. A control group of diabetics and a yoga practice group. The control group underwent no changes in routine or diet. The yoga group attended a 90 minute yoga session once or twice a week. In addition, each yoga group participant was asked to practice 30 minutes per day at their convenience. At the end of the study, all yoga group participants had lowered blood sugar levels. Three participants were able to reduce the required amount of medication needed to control their diabetes. Interestingly, participants' stress levels decreased, while feelings of well being increased. How would that influence diabetes?

It has been found that stress causes the release of toxic chemicals in the human body. Among those secreted are glucagon and cortisol. At the cellular level, they impact blood sugar in a negative way. They act in opposition of insulin, thereby increasing sugar levels in the blood. When a diabetic person is stressed out, a biochemical chain reaction causes higher levels of insulin resistant blood. That means the cell cannot convert the sugar into usable energy and the diabetics blood glucose level is high. Reducing the amount of stress as well as increasing the cell's sensitivity to insulin go hand in hand when combating diabetes.

Participants of the study attended one or two 90-minute sessions per week. In addition, they were asked to practice for 30 minutes at home, daily. The center based classes included such poses as the spinal twist, the bow and abdominal breathing. Meditation and relaxation techniques were also incorporated for reducing stress. A control group was established to compare results between the yoga study participants and diabetics under typical conditions.

It is well known that exercise and nutrition play an important role in the management of blood sugar levels in diabetics. Recommended forms of exercise vary according to a person's interests and abilities.

In the past, diabetics confronted with the disease may have been given the impression that strenuous, rigorous exercise was the only way to combat their rising blood sugar levels. Now, the opportunity to practice a gentle, mindful form of exercise has risen and been proven to help diabetics. Maintaining healthy respiratory, circulatory and endocrinal systems are important for everyone's health. Yoga helps restore balance, inside and out.
About the Author
Julia Hanf author of the book How To Play the Diabetes Diet Game and Win Through a real life crisis Julia figured out how to live diabetes free. Visit http://www.yourdiabetescure.com and learn more about your solution for diabetes.
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