I wanted to start the New Year off right by reducing stress and by improving my flexibility, so I started practicing tai chi.
Why tai chi?
Originally developed for self-defense, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.
What is tai chi?
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.
Tai chi, also called tai chi chaun, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.
Tai chi has many different styles. Each style may subtly emphasize various tai chi principles and methods. There are variations within each style. Some styles may focus on health maintenance, while others may focus on the martial art aspect of tai chi.
Who can do tai chi?
Tai chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. In fact, because tai chi is a low impact exercise, it may be especially suitable if you’re an older adult who otherwise may not exercise.
You may also find tai chi appealing because it’s inexpensive and requires no special equipment. You can do tai chi anywhere, including indoors or outside. And you can do Tai chi alone or in a group.
Although tai chi is generally safe, women who are pregnant or people with joint problems, back pain, fractures, severe osteoporosis or a hernia should consult their health provider before trying Tai chi. Modification or avoidance of certain postures may be recommended.
When learned correctly and performed regularly, tai chi can be a positive part of an overall approach to improving your health. The benefits of tai chi may include:
Decreased stress, anxiety and depression
Improved aerobic capacity
Increased energy and stamina
Improved flexibility, balance and agility
Improved muscle strength and definition
Some evidence indicates that tai chi also may help:
Enhance quality of sleep
Enhance the immune system
Help lower blood pressure
Improve joint pain
Improve symptoms of congestive heart failure
Improve overall well-being
Reduce risk of falls in older adults
How to get started with tai chi?
Although you can rent or buy videos and books about tai chi, consider seeking guidance from a qualified tai chi instructor to gain the full benefits and learn proper techniques.
My goal is to make this year something really special and practicing tai chi is going to be a large part of it. Just writing about it has improved my enthusiasm for the exercise. I am looking forward to both my morning and afternoon sessions. I will let you know throughout the year how I am coming along, and I invite you to come along with me.
Hit me with a positive response if you are picking up what I am putting down.
I have made it my goal in life to help every Baby Boomer finally become who they were meant to be.