Are you in Canada? Click here to proceed to the HK Canada website.

For all other locations, click here to continue to the HK US website.

Human Kinetics Logo

Purchase Courses or Access Digital Products

If you are looking to purchase online videos, online courses or to access previously purchased digital products please press continue.

Mare Nostrum Logo

Purchase Print Products or eBooks

Human Kinetics print books and eBooks are now distributed by Mare Nostrum, throughout the UK, Europe, Africa and Middle East, delivered to you from their warehouse. Please visit our new UK website to purchase Human Kinetics printed or eBooks.

Feedback Icon Feedback Get $15 Off

Human Kinetics is moving to summer hours. Starting May 31 – August 2, our hours will be Mon – Thurs, 7am – 5pm CDT. Orders placed on Friday with digital products/online courses will be processed immediately. Orders with physical products will be processed on the next business day.

How to lower blood glucose with a stretching program

This is an excerpt from Stretching Anatomy-2nd Edition by Arnold Nelson & Jouko Kokkonen.

Learn more about the many positive effects of stretching on the body in
Stretching Anatomy.

Stretching Program to Lower Blood Glucose

In 2011, the Journal of Physiotherapy published a research study by Nelson, Kokkonen, and Arnall showing that a program of passive static stretches could lower blood glucose by an average of 18 percent after 20 minutes and 26 percent after 40 minutes. These researchers concluded that static stretching is an additional viable activity that can acutely help regulate blood glucose. Moreover, since stretching requires little effort, it appears to be an advantageous treatment for those with reduced physical capabilities. It can also be done without any additional equipment, facilities, or expenses and should easily fit into the repertoire of treatment modalities of any person with diabetes. In addition, since all the stretches in the study were done passively with the help of an assistant, if the person does the stretches actively by himself, the lowering effect on blood glucose should be greater.

The lowering of blood glucose by stretching relies on two major physiological principles. First, to enhance glucose transport out of the blood and into the muscles, the muscles should be held in the stretched position for at least 30 seconds. Second, holding a stretch for more than 30 seconds increases blood flow throughout the muscles, and improved blood flow is important for reducing blood glucose. Thus the stretching program detailed here and in the table is designed to first increase transport of glucose from the blood into the muscles and then to periodically enhance blood flow through each large muscle group.

Basic Guidelines

  1. Hold the stretch position for 30 to 40 seconds each stretch.
  2. Rest for 15 seconds between stretches.
  3. Repeat each stretch four times.
  4. Use an intensity level on the scale from 1 to 3, with light pain sensation.
  5. Do all four stretches on one limb before doing the same stretches on the opposite limb.
  6. Do the stretches in the order listed in table 9.5.

Read more from Stretching Anatomy, Second Edition, by Arnold Nelson and Jouko Kokkonen.

More Excerpts From Stretching Anatomy 2nd Edition