The Top 10 Health Benefits of Tai Chi

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tai chi

Originally developed for self-defense, tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that today is known for stress reduction and aiding with a variety of other health conditions. It is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.

Often referred to as meditation in motion, tai chi involves a series of moves performed in a slow, focused manner accompanied by deep breathing- by doing so, it promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements.

Here are Health Fitness Revolution‘s Top 10 Health Benefits of Tai Chi:

  • Balance: Tai Chi movements are steady and slow, shifting from one side to the other with coordinating upper body movements. Theses movements help the core regain balance and reduces the risk of falling in elderly.
  • Strength and Endurance: Research shows that individuals who practiced Tai Chi at least 3 times a week on the regular, had higher strength and performance level.
  • Flexibility: In tai chi the range of movements helps improve one’s flexibility as well.
  • Posture: helps one maintain a good posture from constant practice of Tai Chi
  • Chronic Illness prevention: helps in the treatment chronic illnesses like heart disease, blood pressure, arthritis, digestive disorders, depression and a few others.
  • Improves coordination: helps with hand eye coordination as well as upper and lower body coordination with the slow rhythmic movements involved.
  • Regulates the respiratory system: Breathing is one of the three parts of Tai Chi. The deep breathing helps treat respiratory alignments such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
  • Aerobic Capacity: helps improve one’s aerobic capacity- researchers say that Tai Chi is a form of aerobic exercise as well.
  • Stress: The mellow rhythmic movements and breathing helps distract from a hectic lifestyle. The breathing coordination along with the hand eye movement is proven to promote calmness.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The photo used in this Tai Chi article is a one legged Yoga tree pose NOT of a Tai Chi movement/form! This is why there is so much confusion among new participants on what is Yoga and what is Tai Chi. When people see the wrong photo with this Tai Chi article, they will assume they can’t do Tai Chi.

    As a Community Tai Chi Instructor, I find this occurring in many articles about Tai Chi and even on some websites, especially those who wish to promote Tai Chi to seniors, as a fall prevention exercise. Tai Chi is an excellent, safe, low impact exercise for people of all ages, even for people with chronic conditions and seniors. If practiced regularly, Tai Chi will improve balance and can lower the rate of falls by 50%. Seniors often ask me, “Do I need to bring a yoga mat?” “Are we doing to get down on the floor because I can’t.” “How long are we holding the poses.” “I can’t stand on one leg.” In Tai Chi, we don’t use a yoga mats. We don’t get down on the floor nor do we hold static poses.

    Tai Chi is a sequence of forms, performed with a relaxed upright body alignment, with gentle weight-shifting, along with coordinated arm movement performed in a gentle, slow, mindful, circular, continuous, and, flowing manner. Tai Chi can be performed seated in a chair, chair assisted, standing and stepping. For people who are interested in Tai Chi, check with your community centers, parks & senior centers. Always start with a beginners class to learn the basics first before jumping into a continuing class. I find that new participants are overwhelmed when they jump into a continuing class and don’t return. Tai Chi is not easy to learn nor is it hard to learn. It does require time & practice. If you have a chronic condition such as arthritis… always check with your doctor first before starting a new fitness program. I practice Tai Chi to help manage my chronic pain. Always move within your personal comfort zone and “modify” the forms according to your physical limitations. Enjoy!

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