8 Benefits of Tai Chi
Tai Chi is an ancient art form, one that comes with some great health benefits.
Tai Chi was first developed as a martial art in China hundreds of years ago. It combines relaxation and deep breathing with slow, flowing movements to create forms, and is now commonly practiced worldwide as a health-promoting exercise with both physical and mental benefits. Below are eight examples of why Tai Chi might be for you.
It’s accessible to everyone
A lot of physical activities claim that they’re for everyone, but it’s undeniable that to excel at most of them, you have to be pretty physically fit. Not so with Tai Chi; it is a slow and gentle art form, meaning pretty much anyone of any age or physical condition can get involved.
Improved muscle strength
The slow and controlled movements of Tai Chi mean that your muscles are doing quite a bit of work, even if it doesn’t seem like it. This means that Tai Chi can help all-over body strength.
Some of the movements in Tai Chi, when executed properly, require quite a bit of stretching. As such, Tai Chi promotes full-body flexibility that will develop with the time spent practicing the forms.
To execute the forms with grace and control, impeccable balance is necessary. Tai Chi trains you to fully recognise and utilise the position and movements of your body to achieve the forms. There is evidence to show that Tai Chi helps to reduce the chance of falling in older practitioners.
Tai Chi has a lot of focus on breathing and, while it may not have you gasping for air, the movements do provide a small amount of aerobic exercise. Tests have shown that regular practitioners of Tai Chi have an increased aerobic capacity than others.
Improved Joint Health
Sometimes, high impact exercise can eventually lead to joint problems. Tai Chi is not only very low impact but has a high focus on correct form and posture. Tai Chi has been developed over multiple generations of people who have practiced from a young age until the end of their life, and as such it fully understands the necessity of protecting and strengthening practitioners’ joints for long-term practice.
Tai Chi has been suggested as a way to combat anxiety and stress. The slow, mindful breathing and movements can have positive effects on mood-regulating hormones, and the meditational aspect of the exercise is seen to be calming.
Studies have shown that regularly practicing Tai Chi can improve sleeping patterns in all age groups, more than likely relating to the reduction in stress. As it is a calming and relaxing form of exercise, it can help you get the sleep you need.