5 Wellness Benefits of Tai Chi

Everyone can enjoy the benefits of these mindful movements.

Tai chai is good for your health.

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For thousands of years, the Chinese have practiced tai chi. This ancient form of mindful martial arts involves gentle, focused movements and deep breathing. Each posture flows into the next, a connection to the nature of the universe flowing effortlessly with the rhythms of life. These meditative movements might seem simple enough, but they have tremendous benefits for people of all ages according to a blog from Cleveland Heart Lab.

You can do tai chi just about anywhere with no expensive gym equipment required! In fact, if you visit any public park in China, you’ll likely see large groups of people enjoying tai chi. Many gyms around the world teach tai chi, or you can learn at home through online classes. All you really need is comfortable clothing. And the best part is that just about anyone can do it. Now you can discover these five healing benefits of tai chi and feel your best.

Helps Ease Joint Pain
Staying active doesn’t have to mean pushing yourself to the extreme. When it comes to health, play the long game (slow and steady). Sure, high-impact training, like Iron Man or CrossFit, has its benefits, but vigorous exercise isn’t for everyone. Just about anyone can enjoy the smooth, graceful movements of tai chi, even people with joint conditions, like arthritis. In fact, doctors from the Arthritis Foundation recommend tai chi as a low-impact way to stay active and ease joint pain or stiffness.

Can Improve Balance
Tai chi looks almost like a slow-motion dance as you try to stay balanced as you slowly lift one leg off the ground and set it down. You might wobble at first, but with practice, you’ll get better and build balance in your body. Good balance keeps you nimble and prevents injuries from falls, like a fracture or concussion. According to Harvard Health, tai chi reduces falls in senior citizens by 45 percent and is an excellent way to avoid serious injury.  

Aids in Reducing Stress
Tai chi combines mental focus with mindful breathing and coordination. This type of active meditation relieves stress through meditative movements. A study from The Psychiatric Clinics of North America found that tai chi helps improve psychological well-being including reducing  stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as increasing self-esteem.

Helps Build Strength
When you watch the slow movements of tai chi, it might not seem like a form of martial arts. But over time, it strengthens muscles and builds the flexibility needed to become a strong competitor. It doesn’t just apply to martial arts techniques but also builds overall strength. Physical therapist and tai chi instructor, Matt Leve told Men’s Health, “The practical benefits of tai chi are rooted in its unique movement system which emphasizes tension reduction, balance, and whole-body movement.” 

May Improve Heart Health
You don’t need intense aerobic activity to improve heart health. Even people who hate” exercise can improve cardiovascular health with tai chi, without hours at the gym. According to the Cleveland Heart Lab, tai chi is helpful for people with heart failure who may feel tired and weak because their heart’s pumping ability has decreased. That’s because the gentle movements of tai chi are only as strenuous as taking a walk.

Practicing tai chi also has the added benefit of helping to lower high blood pressure. A study with 208 participants who did simple tai chi exercises for three months, showed that even after just one month, there was a marked reduction in systolic blood pressure and heart rate.

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