Effects of Qigong Walking on Diabetic Patients: A Pilot Study
Abstract: Objectives: The present study was designed to evaluate the advantages of qigong walking, a mild and slow exercise that uses all the muscles of the body, in comparison with conventional walking in patients with diabetes.Interventions: Ten inpatients with diabetes mellitus and associated complications were studied on 3 different days. Either qigong walking (30-40-minute duration) or conventional walking was performed by the patients 30 minutes after lunch on 1 of the 3 study days. Plasma glucose levels and pulse rates were measured 30 minutes after lunch and again 20 minutes after exercising; that is, 90 minutes after lunch. These data were compared to those obtained on a day with no exercise after lunch.Results: Plasma glucose levels decreased during both exercises (from 228 mg/dL before to 205 mg/dL after conventional walking) and (from 223 mg/dL before to 216 mg/dL after qigong walking). In both situations the results after exercise decreased more than those in the group with no exercise (229 mg/dL; p < 0.025). The pulse rates increased after conventional walking (from 77 to 95 beats per minute; p < 0.025) and were higher than those in the group with no exercise (70 beats per minute; p < 0.01) and those after qigong walking (79 beats per minute; p < 0.05).Conclusions: Qigong walking reduced plasma glucose after lunch without inducing a large increase in the pulse rate in patients with diabetes.