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Benefits of Practicing Tai Chi

There is increasing evidence that practicing tai chi has value in the prevention of many health problems.

It is traditional Chinese martial arts, involving slow motion and deep breathing.

Tai chi has many mental and physical benefits. Tai chi may protect against anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline (1, 2).

Here are 10 ways you can benefit from practicing tai chi.

1. Promotes Weight Loss

Unlike other exercises, tai chi involves movements that lead to the burning of calories.

For example, a 15-minute tai chi exercise session will burn approximately 70 calories, which is more effective than some other forms of exercise.

Thus, people who want to lose weight can benefit from exercising Tai Chi.

One study monitored weight adjustments in an adult group that practiced tai chi for 45 minutes, five times a week.

With no other lifestyle changes, adults lost a little more than a pound at the end of the 12 weeks (3).

2. Improves Cognition in Older Adults

Tai chi incorporates both balance exercises and the learning of a movement sequence, which is an excellent combination for preserving memory as you age.

It can enhance cognition in older adults with cognitive impairment.

In particular, older adults can benefit from tai chi, which can enhance memory and functioning abilities, such as paying attention and performing complicated tasks (4).

3. Reduces Falling in Older adults

Tai chi can help improve balance and motor function and decrease the fear of falling among older adults.

Within 8 weeks of exercise, it can decrease real falls, and it can decrease falls considerably after 16 weeks of exercise in older adults.

Fear of falling can decrease independence and quality of life, which can lead to severe complications.

In addition, Tai Chi can provide benefits by boosting the quality of life and overall well-being of the elderly (5, 6, 7, 8).

4. Improves COPD Symptoms

People with COPD may benefit from practicing Tai Chi. Tai chi exercise may improve some symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In one study, people with COPD spent 12 weeks practicing tai chi.

They had improved their exercise ability at the end of the study and reported a general improvement in their quality of life (9).

5. Tai Chi May Reduce Stress

One of the most important advantages of Tai Chi is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. In 2018, one study compared the effects of tai chi on stress-related anxiety.

There were 50 participants in the study. Scientists discovered that tai chi offered the same benefit as a method to manage stress-related anxiety.

This is because tai chi involves meditation and concentrated breathing. The scientists observed that tai chi can also be beneficial for other types of stress-related health problems (10, 11).

6. Tai Chi Help Better Sleep

Practicing tai chi regularly can help you get more sleep. One study observed young adults after they attended two Tai Chi classes a week for 10 weeks.

The people who practiced tai chi experienced improvements in their sleep quality. The same group also experienced a decrease in their symptoms of anxiety.

Tai chi can benefit older adults by improving their sleep quality (12, 13).

7. Tai Chi Improves Mood

If you are depressed or anxious, tai chi can help improve your mood. A study shows that regular tai chi may reduce symptoms of depression.

The slow breaths and motions are thought to have a beneficial effect on the nervous system and hormones that regulate mood.

Therefore, Tai Chi can benefit people living with depression and other neurodevelopmental problems (14).

8. Reduces the Risk Parkinson’s Disease

In a controlled study of 195 respondents, scientists discovered that practicing tai chi regularly may reduce the risk of falls in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Boosting the power of your legs and your general balance can also be beneficial to you (15).

9. Prevents Fibromyalgia

Tai chi may help ease the symptoms of the chronic disease fibromyalgia. A study shows that practicing tai chi may benefit people with fibromyalgia.

Study participants who practiced tai chi for 52 weeks showed higher improvements compared to aerobic exercise.

If you have fibromyalgia, Tai Chi may benefit you in managing the symptoms (16).

10. Reduces Arthritis Pain

According to one study, tai chi may reduce arthritis pain. Fifteen participants with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) exercised tai chi for 12 weeks.

The respondents reported less pain at the end of the study. In another study, 40 participants with knee osteoarthritis (OA) practiced 60 minutes of tai chi twice a week for 12 weeks.

The participants recorded pain reduction and enhancements in mobility and quality of life. They have also found Tai Chi to be efficient in treating knee OA (17, 18, 19).

Conclusion

Tai chi is an exercise that can benefit both young and old adults living with chronic conditions.

Tai chi health benefits include sleep improvement, weight loss, and mood management.

If you’re interested in trying tai chi, an instructor can help you get started.

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