Tai chi is an ancient martial art used for both health and defense purposes. It focuses on gentle and continuous movements of the body. Each movement flows from one posture into another, providing a low impact form of stretching and exercise. Tai chi has found a faithful following in the West as tai chi benefits include an overall improvement in physical and mental health.
Tai Chi has many variations and styles. Its low impact movements are ideal for aged individuals and those who have a limited range of motion. People with special health conditions such as osteoporosis, pregnancy, and fractures can also benefit from tai chi.
Seven Tai Chi Benefits – Why Tai Chi Is The Key To Excellent Health
Here are some tai chi benefits that you can get by adding this gentle form of exercise to your daily routine.
Increased Muscular Strength
Tai chi involves a range of gentle movements, both fine and gross motor ones. These movements activate different muscle groups of the body and their increased activity helps develop muscle tone and muscle memory. This ensures that your body is not prone to weakness and keeps you energetic.
Enhanced Sense Of Balance
Many of the movements involved in Tai chi shift the weight of the body from one leg to another. They are simultaneously coordinated with upper body movements. This helps in improving your body’s sense of balance.
Better Aerobic Conditioning
Aged individuals, especially those who lead sedentary lifestyles, show improved aerobic capacity when they practice tai chi. Unlike a cardio routine, tai chi can be adapted to one’s own pace, making it the ideal form of fitness for old people and individuals with physical disabilities.
Improved Heart Health
Since this fitness routine incorporates a constant movement involving both the hands and feet, it leads to an increase in heart rate. This has a positive effect on heart health.
A 2008 study conducted at the National Taiwan University found that the exercise aspect of tai chi reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improved insulin and triglyceride levels in individuals who were in the high risk group for contracting heart disease.
Relief From The Symptoms Of Arthritis
A 2008 study conducted at Tufts University found that individuals who did tai chi twice a week for 12 weeks showed improved physical functioning and moods.
The slow and controlled movements of tai chi increase blood flow to the joints, positively impacting these body structures. This automatically provides relief from arthritis-related symptoms.
The slow range of movements in tai chi not only provide many physical benefits, they also help focus the mind on the body and draw its attention to the elements in nature. For this reason, you are likely to feel very calm and relaxed after completing a tai chi routine.
Improved Functioning In Women With Breast Cancer
A 2008 study conducted at the University of Rochester and published in Medicine and Sports Science found that tai chi improved the quality of life and the ability to function on a daily basis in women undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Since the movements in Tai Chi attempt to balance the functioning of the physical body and the mind, tai chi benefits help you cope better with day-to-day stress. Add a tai chi workout o your day and experience its immense benefits for yourself.