"Diet and exercise are the cornerstones of type 2 diabetes management," says Paul Lam, M.D., an expert in the benefits of Tai Chi for people with type 2 diabetes. "People with diabetes who exercise regularly have better control over their blood glucose levels and fewer complications, such as heart disease and stroke."
Working with other Tai Chi masters and a team of medical experts, Lam developed a special form of Tai Chi for people with diabetes. Tai Chi is a series of flowing movements and poses. It includes elements of sun and yang, two Tai Chi styles. "The sun style helps improve inner energy and is easy and safe to learn. The yang style has slightly more physical exertion and increases the exercise level," he says. Lam conducts workshops worldwide to teach instructors his Tai Chi for Diabetes program including Keith Root, who teaches a class in Bloomington, Minnesota.
"Being in a class with other people who have diabetes and may be overweight is an advantage," Keith says, who has been practicing Tai Chi since 1995. "They see other overweight people in class, including me, and think that if we can do it, they can, too."