Diabetics have to manage their health more precisely than people with almost any other type of chronic condition. Sleep cycles, meals, activity, medication, and testing must all be carefully monitored for consistency and appropriate proportioning.
Most diabetics know the routine. They go to great lengths to watch carbs and sugars, they are careful to eat regularly, they make sure to maintain consistent portion sizes, they watch blood sugar levels with a glucose meter by Dexcom, and they take their insulin on schedule with the appropriate dose based on the test results. Maintaining a consistent rate of activity is also important, and one way to do that is to take up yoga.
Often misunderstood as an activity for only the most intense health watcher, yoga provides a wide variety of benefits to any participant. These helpful effects hold particular value to the diabetic.
Establishing A Routine
One of the most critical diabetes management strategies is to have a routine. Meals and activity should remain consistent from day to day so that insulin dosage can be accurate. Diabetics who get involved in yoga see two main benefits in this area.
First, having a daily time set aside for yoga helps to fill dead hours that might be used unpredictably. For example, the 90 minutes of preparation, participation, and wrap-up involved in a yoga routine might have been spent doing vigorous physical activity one day and sitting around watching TV and snacking another day. By carving out that time frame each day, the diabetic has fewer idle hours to fill with destructive or, at least, inconsistent behaviors.
And second, the presence of a daily routine for part of the diabetic’s free time helps to create structure in the rest of it. If they come home from work at 5 p.m. and have nothing to do until bedtime, chances are they will overeat, under-exercise, or both. With time set aside for yoga each day, the diabetic must structure the evening’s activities around it, leaving less time for practices that interfere with good diabetes management.
Everyone is subject to varying moods, and those feelings can have a variety of different impacts on us. But the natural fluctuation of happiness, sadness, stress, anger, and other emotions has a very different effect on the diabetic.
Appetite and the desire for activity are closely linked to our mood. When we are stressed, we often don’t feel like eating or doing anything. For others, the exact opposite occurs. Very sad people may try to treat their feelings with food. In good times, we often celebrate with big meals or indulgent desserts. And there’s a reason we say someone is “jumping for joy,” because happiness helps to spur physical activity.
When a diabetic’s moods vary, the resulting alterations in eating and exercise can have a major impact on their condition. For this reason, the calming and leveling of emotions provided by yoga can help diabetics avoid the extremes of emotion that can pull them away from their eating and exercise habits.
In addition, negative emotions can stress the immune system and allow everyday illnesses like sore throats and bronchitis to take hold. Yoga can help boost the body’s defenses to ward off such opportunistic invaders.
Poor circulation is one of the most dangerous enemies of the diabetic. Over a period of years, the impact of diabetes in extremities can cause numbness. At this stage, the diabetic can injure toes or feet without realizing it, leading to infections that can ultimately lead to the loss of toes, feet, and even legs.
A central part of the benefits of yoga is improved circulation. By moving the body into different positions, yoga forces blood to move into areas that weren’t previously receiving a good flow. This helps improve the pliability of blood vessels and keeps good blood flow in even the most underused parts of the body.
Article Submitted By Community Writer