Tai Chi for a Healthy Body and a Peaceful Mind

Tai Chi in the Park

Much of the scientific research into the benefits of Tai Chi has focused on the ways in which its practice can help improve the health and quality of life of senior citizens. However, this form of exercise can also have some important benefits for younger people. It can provide a simple and enjoyable form of exercise that anyone can perform, without the need for expensive equipment or having to be strong, slim and fit before starting to exercise. It can help people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, who have underlying medical conditions or who need to lose weight to become more active. It can also help improve strength, balance and flexibility. Practicing Tai Chi can help to keep people fitter and healthier. (Mayo Clinic)

Tai Chi can also have a significant impact on quality of life. Some of the most important benefits for people who are in the 30 to 50 age group are the psychological effects of Tai Chi. Stress can be a serious problem for many people in this age group since they are often focused on their career, dealing with issues such as moving house, or expending all of their energies on raising children. Tai Chi can provide an important relief from the stresses of everyday adult life. As well as helping people to stay fit and healthy, it can reduce stress and improve well-being. The focus on combining breathing and movement in Tai Chi helps generate feelings of serenity and calm. Difficulty sleeping is a common problem for people in the 30 to 50 age group. It is often associated with stress, although there can be other causes. Tai Chi can help people to enjoy a better quality and quantity of sleep. (Web MD)

Taking some regular exercise now can also have some important long term health benefits. It is advisable for everyone to perform some form of exercise on a regular basis. Many people feel that they lack the time, the fitness or the motivation to take up exercise, but there is a form of Tai Chi for everyone, whether they want a fast-paced, active form of exercise or a slower and gentler one. Tai Chi is an excellent option for anyone who wants to take up some form of exercise in their 30s, 40s or 50s, since it is easy to begin and it can be performed by anyone, no matter what their current state of health may be. (Mayo Clinic)

Tai Chi has also been shown to have some important health benefits for people who are affected by various health problems, particularly in helping to improve quality of life and general health in various patient populations. Of particular interest for people in the 30-50 age group is the effect of Tai Chi on cardiovascular health and blood pressure. Tai Chi appears to be an effective form of exercise for lowering blood pressure and improving the health of the heart. (NCCAM, Yeh et al 2008)

Tai Chi is a form of exercise that is easy for anyone to enjoy, whether they are stressed and pressed for time, coping with an underlying health problem, or searching for an exercise that they can continue enjoying for the rest of their lives. Tai Chi can help people to keep healthy whether they are children, adults or senior citizens. By taking up Tai Chi in your 30s, 40s or 50s, you can enjoy the benefits of improved fitness and reduced stress now, but you can also help to keep yourself healthier in the future by reducing the physical decline that is associated with ageing. (Lan 2002)

References:
Mayo Clinic: Stress Management Tai Chi Discover the many possible health benefits. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tai-chi/SA00087 Accessed 16/01/2011
NCCAM: Tai Chi An Introduction http://nccam.nih.gov/health/taichi/introduction.htm Accessed 16/01/2011
Lan, C. Lai, JS. Chen, SY. (2002) Tai Chi Chuan: an ancient wisdom on exercise and health promotion. Sports Med 32(4):217-24 Available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11929351?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum Accessed 16/01/2011
Web MD: Health Benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong http://www.webmd.com/balance/health-benefits-tai-chi-qigong Accessed 16/01/2011
Yeh, GY. Wang, C. Wayne, PM. Phillips, RS. (2008) The effect of tai chi exercise on blood pressure: a systematic review. Prev Cardiol. Spring 11(2):82-9 Available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18401235?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum Accessed 11/01/2011

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