Typically when people think of any form of exercise, it usually comes with a lot of upper body strength requirement. That is probably one of the primary reasons why it is so easy for people to skip out on exercises, even after being completely aware of its various health benefiting aspects.
Tai Chi, in contrast to all the various forms of exercises, does not come with such limitations. Tai Chi does not involve any form of intense work out sessions or long hours of lifting dumbbells. If anything, Tai Chi is the exact contradiction of a traditional exercise regime.
So what is a Tai Chi?
Tai Chi, as you might have guessed, is a form of martial arts. Although its accurate date of existence is widely debated, it is believed that it originated from China somewhere around 1500 years back. Tai Chi is also known by its former name, Taijiquan. Similar to the origination of all the different types of martial arts, the authentic purpose of Tai Chi was for combat-related application.
However, later on, Tai Chi became more popular due to its incredible health benefiting aspects. Many ancient Chinese scripts have records of monks practicing Taijiquan and harnessing its multitude of health benefiting aspects.
Who can practice Tai Chi?
Tai Chi exercise involves a simple yet extremely systematic and strategic movement of the body. Think of it as a slow-motion version of all the various martial arts movies you have grown up watching, and (of course) with zero violence.
The primary concept of Tai Chi is to get all your body in sync with each other though the gentle and graceful movement of your body. Due to its slow and meditative body motion, it puts negligible stress on your body joints and muscles as well. This makes Tai Chi-an an ideal form of exercise for people of all ages, especially for senior citizens who lose their ability to perform stressful exercise regime as they age.
Health Benefits of Tai Chi
A vast majority of people do not believe that moving your arms around in the air can produce any significant health benefits. However, over the years, studies have shown compelling health benefits of Tai Chi, putting those extensive exercise regimes to shame.
- Reduces the risk of falling
The potential risk of falling is the most common health issue among senior citizens. In one study conducted amongst a group of adults aged 70 and above, regular Tai Chi exercise reduced the risk of falling from 56% to just 31%.
- Stress reduction
Tai Chi possesses all the desired qualities to qualify as a genuine stress reducing agent. It’s slow body movement, and meditative nature helps a person deal with stress and anxiety-related health issues.
One study conducted on 50 Tai Chi practitioners in 2018 revealed that tai chi produced the same stress-relieving benefits as that of any other anxiety management therapies.
- Reduces Chronic pain
Tai Chi has shown significant results to indicate its effectiveness in treating/ reducing several chronic pain-associated health complications such as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
A study conducted in 2013 showed that practicing tai chi on a regular basis for 12-weeks had a significant impact in reducing the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, and also improve the knee stiffness as well.
- Promotes longevity
Now, practicing tai chi may not exactly grant you the power of immortality, but, it does help in prolonging your lifespan. Tai chi, in its authentic form, is all about getting all your body in sync; this includes your internal body as well. Tai Chi is an excellent agent to maintain composure, which in turn helps your heart and brains to function better. In fact, its ability to promote longevity aspect is the primary reason why ancient Chinese monks embraced tai chi as an active exercise regime in the first place.
Tai chi can have a tremendous impact in promoting several health benefiting aspects. All the various studies are in strong agreement to it as well. Tai Chi for health is growing slowly and steadily throughout the western cultures as well, making it easier for people outside of China to take advantage of this tremendous exercise regime.