Diabetes and Exercise
Yoga asanas stretch, twist and turn the lumbar and thoracic regions of our body, where the pancreas is located. This improves the production of insulin and lowers blood sugar.
Yoga also has a huge, positive impact on our parasympathetic nervous system. It reduces stress hormones, which are a major trigger for diabetes. When practiced well, yoga asanas massage the organs, improve blood supply and rejuvenate the cells.
In a study among patients with uncomplicated Type 2 Diabetes who performed yoga asanas showed the following results –
Because Suryanamaskar involves movement of the whole body, it gets the blood to circulate better. It also improves the functioning of the pancreas and increases insulin sensitivity. For best results, practice Suryanamaskar at a slow pace of 4 rounds per minute.
Trikonasana is a great pose for burning fat from the stomach and waist areas. This is a very useful technique, especially for people with weight and obesity conditions. This pose also helps to improve digestion. For both these reasons, Trikonasana is a boon for diabetics.
This seated twist pose works by strengthening the spine and the abdomen. Ardha matsyendrasana gently massages the liver to improve the secretion of insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar levels in the blood. This yoga pose also keeps the spleen and other abdominal organs in good shape.
This eighth pose of the Suryanamaskar resembles the raised hood of a cobra. It involves a deep backbend that works on core muscles, opening up the lungs and chest. Bhujangasana helps in diabetes because of its ability to stimulate metabolism.
Pashimottanasana stimulates the functioning of the pancreas and kidneys. It helps in controlling weight and keeping a check on diabetes. As a forward bend, it stretches the hamstrings, back and leg muscles.
The role of yoga asanas as help to diabetics cannot be overstated. Keeping the body active and the mind stress free are the two cornerstones of treating diabetes.
If you are new to yoga, we’d recommend that you work with a trained yoga instructor to practice these asanas.
Also, do consult your doctor or health practitioner before beginning any yoga or exercise regimen.