The Yoga Plan for Total Health includes a carefully structured program of Asanas - with breathing rhythms, simple Pranayamas, specific Kriyas ( purificatory processes), Bandhas (neuro-muscular controls), integration of the four Bhavas (personality traits) and overcoming the Kleshas (afflictions). Also Ahara (food), Achara (behaviour), Vichar (thought) and Vihar (recreation) go hand in hand. The techniques of Yogic relaxation such as Nispandabhava and Yoni Mudra are extremely beneficial for reducing the stressors. These help to re-establish the homeostatic balance of the body, invigorates the entire system and restores mental equilibrium.
Yoga is the best de-stressor. It relieves emotional tension and stress which triggers diabetes and which accounts for the sudden up and down swings in blood sugar levels'.
It also works wonders with weight - the main concern of diabetics. It helps overweight people reduce, underweight people put on and ideal weight people maintain - their weight. These are not it's only benefits. Yoga wards off heart disease and circulatory risks to which diabetics are easy targets, by stepping up blood circulation and lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Thus, DIET, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY (EXERCISE) and MENTAL TRANQUILITY (MEDITATION & RELAXATION) are the cornerstones of diabetes reversal.
Follow-ups have revealed that those who have kept up their regular practice (of diet, exercise & meditation) and made simple changes to their basic attitude towards life have shown a remarkable improvement in their overall health status.
The secret medical prescription for diabetes & other lifestyle related disease reversal.
Types of exercise
The best exercise prescription recommended to a diabetic is a stepwise progression of aerobic , resistance and flexibility training. Plain walking or brisk walking is the simplest and safest of all exercises and can be started by anyone even past the middle age, but may not be sufficient and effective enough to reverse diabetes.
Other types of aerobic exercises like jogging, cycling, swimming or strenuous sports may call for a medical examination including a check-up with an exercise cardiogram (stress test) before a safe exercise program can be undertaken.
It is here that the need of a Certified Personal Trainer is the need of the hour. The demand for competent and Certified Personal Trainers and Clinical Nutritionists to provide for appropriate exercise and diet prescriptions alongwith guidance for diabetes reversal (rather than a mere diabetes management) will continue to increase in the health and medical settings.
Remember being regular and maintaining consistency in following the diet and exercise program on a daily basis is the secret for diabetes and other lifestyle related disease reversal (Syndrome X). Regularity in diet refers to the Type, Amount and Time of food eaten and in exercise refers to the Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type (FITT) of exercise undertaken.
A word of caution:All exercises undertaken by the chronic diabetic population should be under proper guidance.
Precautions to be taken during exercise:
To check BSL's pre and post exercise, especially during the initial stages of an exercise program to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia (BSL <80mg/dL) as this is the most common problem with exercise.
If fasting glucose level is > 250mg/dL (with ketones) or > 300mg/dL (without ketones), than exercise should be avoided.
Carbohydrate intake and insulin dosage should be adjusted before exercise, (e.g., decrease insulin and increase carbohydrate intake). Have a snack immediately before exercise (and possibly during the exercise if duration is extended).
Avoid injecting insulin into exercising muscle; here abdominal injection is recommended. Also try to avoid any exercise during peak medication activity.
Consume carbs following late night exercise to avoid low BSL during sleep (nocturnal hypoglycemia).
Maintain adequate hydration or drink water at regular intervals and avoid hot/humid environments.
Proper footwear is important for those at risk of foot problems (peripheral neuropathy).
5-10 minutes of warm-up and cool-down are important to avoid heart problems.
To minimize the risk of developing hypoglycemia (BSL < 80 mg/dL) during or post exercise, know the warning signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia.