Speaking of, a new report says yoga can help fend off Type 2 diabetes. It’s already been well-documented that aerobic physical activities can help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and help balance blood sugar levels for people who already have it, but a new study investigates the connection between increased muscle strength gained from activities like yoga, and how it relates to prevention.
After an eight-year study, published on Jan. 15 in PLOS Medicine, scientists found that muscle-strengthening and conditioning exercises like yoga or lifting weights, lowered the risk and helped prevent Type 2 diabetes in women. Because muscles help the body process glucose easier, the better in tune they are, the better off you’ll be.
The study followed 99,000 female nurses between the ages of 36 and 81 over the course of eight years, during which the participants were asked to self-report their weekly exercise routines.
When the study was over, women who engaged in at least 150 minutes per week of aerobic activities and at least one hour of muscle-strengthening exercise like yoga were 33 percent less likely to develop diabetes as inactive women. Women who did more than 150 minutes of these exercises were found to have a 40 percent lower risk of developing diabetes than women who did not do these types of exercises.
Overall, out of the almost 100,000 participants, 3,491 women developed Type 2 diabetes. It should be noted that those who reported the highest levels of exercise were also the people who seemed the fittest in general, having lower weights and healthiest food choices, as well as lower rates of diabetes in the their family. However, another important bit is that out of the women who reported doing the most muscle-strengthening those considered overweight or obese saw the highest benefit in risk reduction.
The takeaway from this isn’t rocket science: do some heart-pumping exercise a few times a week when you can, make smart food choices and do some yoga. And this goes especially for the 50+ folks because muscle mass may start to disappear as we grow older, but building it up or maintaining it may help balance your body and your glucose, preventing Type 2 diabetes from cropping up.
“Despite limitations to which this research can be applied to women in general, it underlines the message that leading an active, healthy lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Richard Elliot, spokesperson for Diabetes U.K., told the BBC.
“We know for certain that the best way to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight by eating a healthy, balanced diet and by taking regular physical activity. At this time of year, many people are looking for an easy way to lose weight and be more physically active. We recommend finding an activity you enjoy as you are more likely to stick with it and stay motivated,” he added.
Might we suggest a regular yoga practice, with a little restorative thrown in for good measure?
Yoga Cat says do your yoga to prevent diabeetus.