Watching a group of people practice tai chi, it can be hard to imagine that these slow, gentle, choreographed movements could make us stronger, mentally and physically. However, if you are not ready or unable to tackle strength training with weights, resistance bands, or machines, the tai chi may be the activity that will help you. This discipline can increase your endurance and decrease the risk of injury that accompanies weak muscles and bones.
This low impact activity is suitable for people of all ages and most health conditions, including those that are sedentary long time, in a wheelchair, or who hate exercise. It’s about a gentle and relaxing activity which involves breathing deeply, but which does not make you sweat or take your breath away.
It does not put stress on joints and muscles, and therefore is not likely to cause pain or injury. Once the technique is learned with the help of a qualified instructor, it is an inexpensive activity that can be practiced anywhere, anytime, which gives positive results very quickly.
Tai chi helps maintain good mental and physical health
The scientific studies carried out on this subject, and cited by the New York Times, report many benefits in terms of maintaining good health, better balance, and fall prevention. This last aspect is fundamental for the elderly, particularly at risk. A one-hour tai chi session, once to three times a week, reduces the risk of falls and injury by 43% after 12 to 26 weeks of practice.
Indeed, tai chi combines the benefits of different exercises such as yoga, weight training or stretching. It strengthens the lower body, improves posture, promotes flexibility, increases awareness of the body’s position in space and improves the ability to overcome obstacles while walking. Four clinical trials have shown that tai chi has positive effects on bone health.
Finally, the movements involved in tai chi minimize stress on possible painful areas and, by improving circulation, promote relief and healing. Small bonus: Tai chi has been shown to help to struggle againstagainst depression, anxiety and stress.