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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Salute the Sun for Peak Physical Fitness in Diabetes

Most people with diabetes are prescribed long, brisk walks by their physicians. This is great for keeping insulin resistance at bay, keeps the heart and lungs in good shape, and prevents complications of diabetes as well. However, major muscle groups, such as the ones in the upper arms, chest, and shoulders, are left out, and may waste away, without separate regimens.

Yoga is a great way to keep the entire body, including both muscles and joints, fully exercised, supple, and in top shape. Yoga consists of a series of ‘asanas’, which are actually a series of coordinated moves leading to specific postures. The ‘Surya Namaskar’ or ‘Salute to the Sun’ consists of a set of 12 movements, which is a quick and deliberate way of exercising the entire body.

The ‘Sun Salute’ may be done just once, or even in part only, by a novice, but can be repeated up to 12 times a day at a brisk pace by those in peak physical condition. Most people with diabetes should be able to do the routine 2-4 times at a stretch, if they practice the postures regularly, and build up stamina gradually.

Never try the postures on your own. They look deceptively simple in books or when demonstrated by an expert, but can only be learnt safely from accomplished instructors. Never start without a thorough physical examination by your physician, and take breaks whenever you feel unwell, are injured, or have an infection.

It helps to precede the ‘Surya Namaskar’ with ‘Pavan Mukta Asanas’. These are exercises to make your ankles, knees, wrists, and neck supple and flexible, and can be learnt from your instructor.

Always follow a session of ‘Surya Namaskar’ with ‘Shav Asana’ or the corpse pose, which relaxes the body, and returns the heart beat to the normal rhythm, before you end each Yoga session.

It is best to do these exercises on awakening, in calm and quiet surroundings, without any strong drafts of breeze. It is important, as always, to exercise at least 4 hours after a meal.

Most people can learn the routines in less than a month of daily instruction. It is best to set aside about 30 minutes, preferably at the start of each day, to practice regularly.

So, salute the sun every dawn and stay in enviable physical condition, even if you have diabetes!


Blogger MoLangley said...

Interesting layout on your blog. I really enjoyed reading it,I agree with you that health and fitness is actual help to improve their health. I will be back to read more in the future.

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11:59 AM  

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