It’s no secret: Exercise is good for your diabetes. But who wants to spend hours sweating it out on the treadmill or hiking up stairs on the stairmaster? If a cardio workout isn’t for you, you’re in luck: Studies have shown yoga is an excellent workout for people with diabetes. If all the science journals don’t convince you, here are three more reasons why taking up yoga might be a good option for you:
1.Yoga can help fight diabetes symptoms.
Bloating and muscle stiffness can come with any medical condition, especially diabetes. The stretching and bending that comes with a yoga routine increases blood flow all the way to the tips of your fingers and toes, which can help improve flexibility and strength.
2. Yoga helps relieve stress.
No doubt about it: Diabetes is stressful. Yoga has been shown to help reduce stress in people who practice it regularly. There is something especially relaxing about giving your muscles a good stretch while focusing only on your breathing–just inhale all the clean air and exhale all your worries about insulin dosing and scheduling your next doctor appointment.
3. Yoga is appropriate for every age and fitness level.*
Whether you’re a teenager struggling with type 1 or a 70-year-old who was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, there is a yoga routine out there for you. Websites like YouTube offer a variety of free yoga videos, ranging from 10 minutes to more than an hour. There is yoga for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, and you can even search for yoga routines based on the health benefits you desire. Popular videos include yoga for stress relief, yoga for weight loss, and yoga for strength and flexibility training.
*It’s important to note that you should always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program. By letting your doctor know you’re interested in taking up yoga or any other form of exercise, he or she can recommend the activity that is best for you and your diabetes.