Explore the Benefits of Tai Chi
Tai Chi may initially have developed as a Chinese self-defence technique, though over time it has morphed into a graceful movement meditation that’s renowned for promoting stress reduction as well as fighting numerous other ailments. It’s also said to improve cognitive functions, help manage symptoms of chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, while also decreasing anxiety and depression. This non-competitive martial art includes gentle exercises, stretching and deep breathing.
Much like yoga, another form of movement meditation, Tai Chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints. It’s generally safe to practice for all fitness levels and ages. It’s a popular form of exercise for those recovering from injuries as well as older people (however, if you’re pregnant, suffer from joint problems, back pain, fractures, severe osteoporosis or a hernia, please consult with your GP before trying this practice). A good Tai Chi instructor will teach you how to practice safely – although it’s slow and gentle, using correct techniques is vital to prevent injuries.
When Tai Chi is taught correctly and the practiced consistently, it can really help improve your overall health. Benefits may include:
- Lowered stress, anxiety and depression
- Improved mood
- Improved aerobic capacity
- Improved muscle strength and joint pain
- Improved balance and flexibility, reducing the risk of falls in older people
- Increased energy and stamina
One of the main benefits of Tai Chi is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety since it incorporates meditation and focused breathing. This helps calm the nervous system and as more intense forms of exercise (such as HIIT and bootcamps) spike your adrenaline, it’s a great way to get your body moving if you’re suffering from ailments such as hormonal imbalances and adrenal fatigue. It can also help improve your mood if you’re feeling down and depressed: it’s said that the slow movements and mindful breathing have a positive effect on mood-boosting hormones. You should also see a knock-on effect in terms of sleep hygiene; even two sessions of Tai Chi per week have been reported to help establish a better sleeping pattern.
Regular Tai Chi practitioners have also reported seeing a difference in terms of weight management, it’s a practice where you activate various muscles – which also helps improve your stability and balance. We recommend practicing Tai Chi five days per week for at least 45 minutes to see results. Talk about a complete mind, body and spirit exercise!