A serious health issue that has plagued modern society in recent times

A serious health issue that has plagued modern society in recent times, has been the rampant rise in diabetes. Chiefly due to the incidence and prevalence of type II diabetes mellitus, it has caused a widespread epidemic worldwide.

Statistical evidence displayed in a study by Diabetes Care (Mokdad et al. 2000), showed that the intensification of diabetes, inclusive of gestational diabetes, in different parts of the United States of America (USA) has been steadily increasing from the years 1990 – 1998. Further evidence displayed in J Am Med Assoc (Mokdad et al. 2001) that continued analysing the trend of the rise in diabetes from 1999 – 2001, showed even more so that the American dream was proving too sweet to handle for many of its citizens across the state.

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It has been shown however, that a key intervention for adults suffering from cardiovascular illness, overweightness or type II diabetes mellitus, would be to participate in regular exercise. The main benefit from exercise for someone with type II diabetes mellitus, would be the lowering of the blood glucose level. Stored glycogen in muscles is used during exercise as glucose and may allow a diabetic to better control the level of homeostasis within the body due to the fact the body becomes more insulin sensitive. Yet, few engage regularly in exercise, choosing a sedentary lifestyle over one where physical exertion is clearly needed to improve health.

Yoga however, is proving to be a popular alternative. Though some studies argue that it is indeed also classified as a form of exercise, others argue that it is yoga is a holistic intervention incorporating body postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayamas), meditation, cleansing, nutrition, modification of attitudes and behaviour, and mental discipline. 1

This holistic philosophy, deemed more than mere physical exercise, but a lifestyle which is associated to a range of other pathologies including diet, relaxation and a more westernised term known as stress management. Furthermore, it has low cardiovascular demands relative to other forms of exercise like running or swimming, as far as exercise strenuous levels are concerned. Low impact activity, meeting the demand for obese practitioners who have difficulty being mobile and lastly, offers a different form of sporting identity.