Control Diabetes With Yoga

African American woman yogaRegular physical activity is one of the most effective tools in diabetes management. Exercise can lower your blood glucose (also called blood sugar), blood pressure, and bad cholesterol while increasing your good cholesterol. It improves your body’s ability to use insulin and contributes to weight loss which might allow you to decrease the amount of medication you need. Exercise also lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke. When you exercise regularly, you have more energy, less stress, and a clearer mind.

But if you are like many people – despite all the health benefits, the thought of exercise brings back memories of the hundreds of jumping jacks, pushups, laps and other calisthenics you were forced to do in school. Those sweaty classes were often among the most dreaded. The good news is you have options.

Exercise is any physical activity that gets your body moving above a resting level. Yoga can be a beneficial, less strenuous and more pleasurable, exercise experience for people with diabetes.

There are four categories of exercise recommended for people with diabetes – aerobic exercise, strength training, stretching and being active every day. Aerobic exercise is an exercise that increases your heart rate and your rate of breathing. When you exercise aerobically your body uses oxygen as it breaks down fat and glucose for energy.

“Yoga is not generally considered aerobic exercise—though some power yoga sessions will work up a sweat,” says registered yoga teacher Tamara Jeffries, RYT-200. Yoga is a type of stretching and should be done in combination with aerobic exercise and strength training.