4 Proven Benefits of Yoga for People with Diabetes

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Yoga has been practiced since ancient times. Now, researchers are finding yoga may offer specific benefits for those living with diabetes.

Decreased oxidative stress

Oxidative stress is basically a chemical imbalance in the body. More specifically, it happens when a molecule containing oxygen has unpaired electrons, and then destabilizes other cells causing a host of health problems. Oxidative stress is suspected as a root cause of insulin resistance. Practicing yoga has been found to reduce oxidative stress in Type 2 diabetes.

Body mass index reduction

Body mass index (BMI) is a number that is derived from the weight and height of a person. A high BMI can indicate a high percentage of body fat. In a study of 123 individuals with diabetes, BMI was reduced after doing three months of yoga. Researchers suspected that the BMIs of the participants would continue to go down if they continued to do yoga after the study was completed.

Glycemic control

Glycemic control refers to the control of blood sugar levels in a person with diabetes. Having good glycemic control means blood sugar levels are regulated and normal, which is ideal. In a study of individuals with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, glycemic control showed improvement after 4 months of practicing yoga. Researchers were unsure if the improvements were due to the correction of insulin resistance or additional improvement in beta cell function.

Increased vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which acts as an antioxidant. After practicing yoga for three months, study participants who were living with diabetes saw their vitamin C levels improved by 15 – 60 percent.

Talk to Your Doctor

Yoga is generally known to be a low impact and safe form of exercise. However, before you begin any new exercise regimen, it is important that you talk to your doctor. Trying yoga could help you reach your diabetes goals, so communicate with your doctor to see how to make this practice work for you and your health.