Yoga is no substitute for the more vigorous exercise which many people with diabetes need in order to lose weight, but a new study suggests that it may offer some of its own benefits. The findings showed that yoga classes (when added to standard diabetes care) helped study participants pare a few pounds and also improved their blood sugar control.
A total of 123 middle-aged and older individuals participated in the study, and about half of them took yoga classes several times a week for three months. Compared to the study’s control group, the participants who took the yoga classes lost a small amount of weight, but more impressively their blood sugar levels remained under control (indicators of poor sugar control rose among those in the non-yoga group).
What’s more, researchers found that signs of oxidative stress declined in the yoga group. In fact, levels of body chemicals reflective of this stress decreased by 20 percent.
The study was published online August 11 by the journal Diabetes Care.