07 Mar 2021: #HealthBytes: The many health benefits of tai chi workouts
Tai chi, also known as "meditation in motion," is a traditional Chinese martial arts form and is popular worldwide due to its physical and emotional benefits.
Originally, a form of self-defense, tai chi has progressed to become more of a serene form of workout with flowing movements.
Read on to know how practicing tai chi is good for your overall health and well-being.
Brief: Performed in a slow manner accompanied by deep breathing
Tai chi involves graceful movements and is performed in a slow manner accompanied by deep breathing.
However, it is different from yoga.
In this exercise, there are seldom any gaps between movements and each pose gently flows into the next in a relaxed manner.
There are different types of tai chi that focus on either its health benefits or its martial arts form.
Stress buster: Involves a lot of meditation, thus known to reduce anxiety
One of the main health benefits of tai chi is its effect on a person's mental health.
Studies prove that tai chi helps in reducing anxiety, and this could be because it involves a lot of meditation and focused breathing.
If you are an otherwise healthy individual who has begun to experience stress, tai chi could be the right exercise to curb this issue.
Balance: Helps old people find their balance and endurance
Tai chi has an added advantage that many other workouts do not provide, and it is the fact that it can help old people find their balance and endurance.
Falling due to loss of balance is a common cause of injury in seniors.
Studies prove that there was a significant reduction in falls when old individuals regularly practiced tai chi for eight weeks.
Arthritis: People with knee osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis reported less pain
A small study was conducted on 15 participants with rheumatoid arthritis.
During the course of this study, the participants practiced tai chi for 12 weeks.
At the end of the research, the participants reported less pain and improved mobility.
A larger study conducted on 40 participants with knee osteoarthritis found similar results where participants reported a reduction in pain and an improvement in mobility.
Parkinson's disease: Improves balance in individuals who suffer from Parkinson's disease
A study was conducted on 500 individuals who have early- or mild-stage Parkinson's disease.
The individuals were split into two groups where one group received tai chi lessons three days per week for two months, while the other group received routine exercises like treadmill and aerobic training.
It was concluded that the individuals who practiced tai chi showed a significantly reduced number of falls.