Tai chi exercise is a gentle way for anyone to engage not only her body, but also her mind. Unlike high-impact activities like running or high intensity aerobics, tai chi will help energize practitioners in a relaxing and calming way.
Tai Chi Benefits
There are a number of benefits to tai chi exercise.
- No equipment: This is a highly portable exercise program, as no special equipment is needed. You can do tai chi just about anywhere; this includes inside or outdoors. For people who travel frequently, tai chi is a wonderful way to practice a relaxing exercise program on the road.
- Improves coordination: As you perform tai chi, your body flows through a series of movements, which look almost like a slow dance. You focus on breathing and slowly controlling your movements. This focus on maintaining the correct posture and balance can help people become more physically aware and coordinated.
- Good for anyone: People who suffer from arthritis or are very overweight often find it difficult to take part in exercise. They are not excluded, however, from tai chi, as the movements can usually be performed by anyone, regardless of the shape they're in.
- Reduces stress: Just 15 minutes of tai chi per day can help reduce stress levels. Because increased stress often leads to other health problems, tai chi may help to avoid serious issues due to a stressful lifestyle.
Good for Weight Loss?
Although tai chi offers users several benefits, it's important to note that tai chi is not a high calorie burner and therefore not the best activity for people seeking to lose large amounts of weight. Anyone looking to drop pounds should engage in a more vigorous form of cardio activity, such as walking, hiking, jogging, skiing, cycling or using an elliptical. However, you can add tai chi to your daily activities as a calming way to either energize your body and mind, or to wind down after a busy day. Some people will find that the mind-body connection that tai chi encourages forces them to think more deeply about what they eat. They may follow a healthier eating plan, and therefore lose weight as a direct result of practicing this ancient exercise.
Learning More About Tai Chi Exercise
To learn how to properly perform tai chi, it's a good idea to take a class, either at your local YMCA, gym or senior center. You may also want to check out DVDs from Tai Chi Productions or websites such as Supreme Chi Living.
To learn more about the various positions and their names, Everyday Tai Chi is one site that contains information.
It's energizing while also being relaxing, it accommodates beginners and experts alike, and it relieves stress while not stressing the body - tai chi seems to have it all. Whether pre-existing conditions restrict the types of activities you can do and tai chi is perfect for that reason, or you're looking for a portable workout that you can perform anywhere, this old form of exercise can easily be added to your daily routine.