Tai Chi is a very gentle form of exercise, consisting of very slow, very deliberate movements, almost like meditation. These movements are very relaxing and a good way to relieve stress.
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch describes why Tai Chi is different from other forms of exercise, and why anyone can do it:
The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched. Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.
But it’s not just for relaxation. Tai Chi is good for improving muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and some aerobic conditioning.
The Health Benefits of Tai Chi
“A growing body of carefully conducted research is building a compelling case for tai chi as an adjunct to standard medical treatment for the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions commonly associated with age,” says Peter M. Wayne, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Tai Chi and Mind-Body Research Program at Harvard Medical School’s Osher Research Center.
Studies are showing that, in conjunction with medical treatment, Tai Chi may be helpful for arthritis, bone density conditions, breast cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s, hypertension, sleep problems, and stroke.
Given that list, is there any way you cannot benefit from Tai Chi? Check out a local class or search for easy workouts on Youtube and find out!