Yoga classes may improve the condition of individuals with type 2 diabetes

Individuals with type 2 diabetes may benefit from taking medications and eating a healthy diet, but there are many other things they can do to improve their ability to manage their condition.

For example, a recent investigation published in the journal Diabetes Care showed that participating in yoga classes can actually lead to improvements in a diabetic's blood sugar levels and reductions in body mass index.

As part of the study, researchers from the Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center in India tracked the health of 60 yoga participants and 63 individuals who simply received standard care for their condition. The results showed that the individuals in the yoga group were able to lower their blood sugar levels and shed a few extra pounds, compared to those who did not participate in the exercises.

Additionally, these participants showed signs of having less oxidative stress, a condition that can cause damage to cells and instigate an inflammatory immune system response, which may make tissue less responsive to the effects of insulin.

Yoga may have some limitations when it comes to controlling type 2 diabetes. The researchers told Reuters Health that weight loss among these individuals was modest. Participants would likely have lost more weight through vigorous aerobic exercise, which could lead to greater gains in blood sugar control.

However, for individuals who are severely overweight, strenuous physical activity may be out of the question. Yoga could be a viable option to help these individuals improve their condition in a manner they are comfortable with.

The authors also told the news source that anyone with type 2 diabetes who is considering joining a yoga class do their homework ahead of time. There are many different styles of yoga, some of which can be extremely vigorous.

The type used in the study was a gentle form that avoided certain positions that could have jeopardized the health of someone with heart disease. Type 2 diabetics will need to check out the type of yoga offered at various studios before joining any classes.