Tai chi is a martial art that combines gentle motions with calming thought processes. Many poses are named after movements involving animals: parting the wild horse’s mane, grasp the bird’s tail, white crane spreads its wings . . . Millions of people practice tai chi daily in countries around the world, from China to the United States. Its slow, controlled, and low-impact motions are perfect for people of all ages, including seniors with limited movement. Scroll down to learn more about the benefits of tai chi.
Benefits of Tai Chi
Some individuals call tai chi “shadow boxing.” No one truly knows when people first began to perform the exercises. Different historical records suggest that they have existed for 500, 800, or possibly even 1,200 years. Suffice it to say: This is an ancient form of exercise that can greatly improve your health. In fact, it offers all of the following benefits:
1. Stronger Muscles
Tai chi exercises strengthen muscles in many parts of the body, including the abdomen, arms, legs, and back. They can produce similar results to walking quickly or using a resistance band.
2. Enhanced Mood
When you start practicing tai chi, you may find that it improves your mood. Stress, depression, or anxiety may subside. This often results in physical health improvements, including better sleep.
3. Cognitive Health
A recent study revealed that elderly brains function better when people engage in tai chi. It enhances people’s ability to pay attention and make decisions. The exercises may also prevent dementia or minimize the symptoms of this condition.
4. Fall Prevention
The mental and physical effects of tai chi have the potential to enhance balance. The poses and movements train the body to regain stability after stumbling. This decreases the risk of falling, especially for seniors and individuals who have Parkinson’s disease.
5. Losing Weight
Although it won’t have the same impact as jogging or eating smaller meals, tai chi can still banish excess fat. You will probably burn almost 90 calories in a session that lasts 20 minutes. Unlike some fitness activities, tai chi can benefit almost anyone.
6. Joint Function
If you have osteoarthritis, tai chi may help your joints work properly. It can also enhance flexibility and decrease pain. Tufts Medical Center conducted a study that demonstrated significant benefits for people suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
7. Diabetes Relief
Tai chi could reduce the negative health effects associated with type 2 diabetes. It accomplishes this by bolstering the immune system and controlling the sugar level in a diabetic’s blood. This may decrease your reliance on medications.
8. Avoid Sickness
The immunity benefits of tai chi don’t only help diabetics. They can minimize any person’s risk of developing a cold or suffering from influenza. You may achieve even better results by combining tai chi with vitamins and vaccines.
9. Alleviate Hypertension
Do you have high blood pressure? If so, this ancient Chinese practice could offer relief. The results of clinical trials indicate that tai chi benefits people with hypertension if they perform the exercises about three times per week. This may allow you to avoid the side effects of prescription drugs.
10. Cancer Protection
A University of California study revealed that tai chi helps women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past (source). It limits the production of insomnia-causing stress hormones. This decreases inflammation, reducing the likelihood that cancer will resurface.
Over 1,000 clinical trials confirm that tai chi offers valuable health benefits. Plus, this ancient form of exercise doesn’t demand a lot of time or special equipment. You can learn how to engage in tai chi by attending a class, watching instructional videos, or purchasing a book on the subject. Although it may look intimidating, it’s actually very easy to jump in as a beginner. So grab a friend, head to a local tai chi class, and embrace the many benefits of tai chi.
Looking for an assisted living community in Tennessee? Check out Hearthside Senior Living in Collierville. Our warm and inviting community makes it easy for seniors to embrace a healthy lifestyle, with home-cooked and restaurant-style meals, exercise classes, and a nurse devoted to residents’ health and wellness. To learn more about our amenities and services, please give us a call at 901-854-6590 or contact us online.