In this post, we take a look at the rise in worldwide incidents of diabetes in recent decades, how it can affect our physical and mental health, and how a well curated yoga for diabetes routine can help you better manage the symptoms of the condition.
The rise and impact of diabetes
For the last 3 or 4 decades, diabetes has steadily been on the rise. The number of patients worldwide spiked dramatically from 108 million in 1980, to around 463 million in 2019.
Experts believe that there are a number of potential lifestyle contributors to this rise, from obesity and smoking, to our increasingly sedentary way of life. The long-term impact of diabetes can lead to a number of restrictions in our lives. They affect not only our physical health, but our mental health as well – patients can develop “diabetes distress”, a condition with similar traits to stress, anxiety and depression.
Despite all these potential problems, adopting a lifestyle centred around a healthy diet and regular exercise can help people manage this condition more effectively. Regular exercises for diabetes relief, coupled with meditation, can prove to be especially useful tools to help control the symptoms of the condition, and allow people to live long and healthy lives in the process.
Yoga for diabetes: Managing the symptoms
At its core, diabetes is the body’s inability to regulate levels of sugar in the blood, due to the improper secretion of insulin. Research has shown that yoga can help improve this regulation of blood glucose levels, and act as an effective supplement to prescription medication.
Improving insulin secretion
Beta cells (or ß-cells), responsible for the manufacture of insulin, are affected by diabetes, with the cells either being mistakenly damaged by the body’s immune system, or gradually losing their ability to produce insulin. Specific abdominal stretches, as a part of a yoga for diabetes routine, can help to stimulate and regenerate these cells in the pancreas, leading to improved insulin release in the body.
Over time, diabetes can contribute to poor circulation. High levels of glucose in the bloodstream can lead to plaque forming on smaller blood vessels, damaging them, and affecting their supply to neighbouring cells. Rhythmic breathing sequences can help to oxygenate the blood, and improve blood supply to different key muscle groups and organs.
Lowering stress levels
High levels of stress and anxiety can also contribute to elevated levels of glucose in the body. When the body is stressed, it ensures that there’s enough sugar or energy available to deal with the potential problem, by releasing more glucose from the liver. This can exacerbate any existing condition of diabetes that a person may already be suffering from. Guided meditation can be an effective way to combat this. Specific meditative techniques which supplement a yoga for diabetes routine, can help to lower the heart rate, and induce a calmer state of mind. This helps to better moderate the body’s response to stress, leading to lowered glucose levels in the blood, and lower insulin resistance.
Preventing the contraction of diabetes
Ultimately, our diets and lifestyles do contribute significantly to our chances of contracting diabetes. Ensuring we eat a balanced diet and get sufficient exercise are good ways to reduce the risk of developing the condition. From a preventive standpoint, incorporating exercise and meditation into a daily wellness regime can make people more mindful of their dietary habits, and help people avoid foods that may contribute to the onset of diabetes.
With diabetes on the rise, yoga and meditation can be very effective tools to help people manage and prevent the onset of this illness. Carefully curated yoga for diabetes programs, in conjunction with dietary adjustments and possible medicinal interventions, can go a long way towards helping people with diabetes live long and healthy lives.