Often referred to as moving meditation, tai chi is a fitness routine that integrates slow movements with breathing and cognitive skills like imagery. Research shows it can foster wellness across various health conditions and physical abilities.
Tai Chi’s fluid movement increases core strength and improves posture. This can reduce the risk of falls in older adults.
Unlike other exercises, tai chi doesn’t rely on straining or pushing your body too hard. Instead, it uses slow movements to stretch and strengthen muscles and joints. This can help ease the pain from conditions like fibromyalgia, improve balance and coordination, and prevent future falls, which are common in older adults.
The movement and meditation aspects of tai chi also boost mental health. One study found that participants experienced improved mood and cognition after five one-hour classes. The practice can even increase your energy levels, which can help manage fatigue related to cancer treatments and other chronic illnesses.
Lower Blood Pressure
While the low impact of Tai Chi may not be enough for some people with very high blood pressure, it will provide a safe way to lower blood pressure for most. A study found that patients with essential hypertension who practiced tai chi three times per week for 21 weeks experienced significant decreases in their blood pressure.
The slow and flowing movements of tai chi help to calm the mind, relax the body, and encourage deep breathing. These are important components in promoting heart health. One study found that twice-weekly tai chi classes like those from Fitness Evolution improved sleep for those with anxiety while lowering stress levels.
Additionally, tai chi does not involve muscles being tensed up or joints being extended and bent like lifting weights. This helps prevent injuries in those with less flexibility and minimizes joint strain for those with arthritis. In addition, tai chi can be done without specialized equipment or gym memberships.
Tai Chi is thought to promote restful sleep because of its slow, contemplative movements. Exercise can ease melancholy and anxiety, typical causes of restless nights.
Tai Chi’s deep breathing and attention aid a good night’s sleep, which also works to soothe the nervous system. Researchers discovered that tai chi greatly enhanced the sleep quality of healthy adults and people with chronic illnesses. High-quality and longer-duration randomized trials are required to assess tai chi’s efficacy.
The cardiorespiratory benefits of Tac Chi Class are also strong, especially for a low-impact form of exercise. A recent study published in Heart & Lung found that adults with hypertension who trained for six months experienced lower blood pressure and body mass index than those who received their usual care. The improvements were attributed to the tai chi training improving their cardiovascular fitness and blood pressure control.
Tai Chi’s slow movements and mindful breathing may help to soothe anxiety and depression. It’s also been shown to improve sleep, especially among older adults.
Tai chi training boosts upper- and lower-body flexibility and helps with balance. It’s also been shown to reduce falls. That’s because it strengthens proprioception, the ability to sense your body in space. This is a key element of balance and helps prevent falls, especially under mental stress.
Tai chi is a low-impact activity, and like Pilates and yoga, it can be easily modified for people with different health conditions and physical abilities. It’s a good choice for those who want to start exercising but are still deciding whether to join a group fitness class or go on long walks. It’s a good idea to start small, though, and try to do at least 150 minutes of exercise a week to see the benefits.