The Health Benefits of Tai Chi
Tai Chi being practiced on Wudang Mountain. Thanks to Dugang for use of the photograph.
Tai Chi Health Benefits
While tai chi is regarded as a martial art, one of its main objectives is to improve the health of its participants, both physically and mentally. Read on to find out how tai chi can provide health benefits in your life.
1. Increased Strength
A recent study that was commissioned by the Oregon Research Institute shows that six months of regular tai chi classes results in a measurable increase in physical strength. Those who participated in tai chi became twice as likely to experience little to no difficulty in completing strenuous physical activities.
Lest you think this is just for people who are already physically strong, the study showed that the most benefits were delivered to those who started off at the weakest point. A person's balance is also proven to be improved, as another study showed a decrease in falls, especially among the elderly.
2. Decreased Pain
Muscle pain and soreness is markedly decreased for regular participants in tai chi. Patients who had been suffering from osteoarthritis were tested over the course of three months. The ones who began to participate in tai chi reported feeling much less pain than when they had begun.
Joint pain is decreased and the muscles are able to respond to the workout much more easily. Studies also showed that muscle stiffness is lessened.
3. Better Sleeping Habits
Tai chi is the perfect cure for that nagging insomnia. The same Oregon Research Institute study that displayed increased strength in tai chi participants also showed that they received longer and better sleep each night.
Two out of every three people who began a tai chi class have reported that they are currently sleeping better than when they began. These benefits have been compared favorably with those gained through the usage of prescription drugs.
4. Improved Walking Speed
It is only natural for walking speed to decrease as one ages. Studies have shown that is due to a person's increased susceptibility to falling. But, with tai chi participation, a person's balance improves, reducing the risk of falling. As such, they are then able to walk at a much faster pace.
With increased walking speed comes reduced risk of diabetes and other chronic forms of illness, so it's certainly worth the effort you will put in.
5. Stress Relief
Life can be stressful for anyone, regardless of their age. Tai chi harnesses this stress by focusing in on movement and proper breathing techniques. By participating in tai chi, it allows the body and mind to take a much needed break from the usual stresses of life.
Tai chi emphasizes the connection between a person's body and mind. With increased body movement comes an inflated sense of calm. Tai chi has been recommended by many fitness experts because it promotes a sense of peace in participants.