Tai Chi has been around for more than 700 years, and some even believe that they may be as old as 1500 years old. Tai Chi is one of the small branches of a bigger martial art technique called the “Qigong.”
Qigong is a form of martial art practise that focuses primarily on the elements of breathing and energy. According to Chinese scripts, the name Qigong itself means “breath skill.” Since its inception, Tai Chi has been primarily practiced (which continues to date) due to its several health benefits.
Although Tai Chi in its authentic form was first developed as a means of self-defence, its several health benefits became quite significant over time. Today Tai Chi is practiced primarily for its numerous health beneficial aspects, especially in older adults.
Tai Chi is seeing a gradual growth in popularity amongst different people. In fact, a recent study shows that more than 2.5 million people in The United States alone practice Tai Chi. This growth in popularity is primarily contributed to the positive results it continues to generate amongst its active participants.
Here are the 5 proven health benefits of practicing Tai Chi
- Improves the Mental Health
Due to its meditative and slow movement techniques, Tai Chi has been proven to have an excellent effect in improving mental health as well as any psychological-related health risks. Anxiety and stress-related problems are the main contributors in promoting a serious psychological health risk, and Tai Chi has proved effective.
A study compromising of 50 participants showed Tai Chi practice gave identical results as that of the anxiety/ stress management exercises.
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- Reduces the risk of falling
The risk of falling poses the primary threat amongst older adults. A recent study has proven that 1 out of every 4 older adults (above 65 years) is at the risk of falling. This is primarily because of the reduction in mobility and body balance.
One of the core elements of Tai Chi lies in the orderly and slow movement of the body. This improves the balance of the body and ultimately reduces the risk of falling.
- Improves the quality of sleep
According to the latest report, more than 50 million people in The United States alone suffer from at least one type of sleeping disorder. The number is alarming and, hence, anything that can help in reducing this staggering figure is a welcoming sign.
A study conducted for over 10 weeks showed that practicing Tai Chi twice in a week produced a significant result in improving the sleep quality, and also showed lesser symptoms of anxiety-related problems.
- Improves the Muscle Strength
Tai Chi can improve your muscle strength. After all, Tai Chi is a form of martial arts, so if you do not experience any improvement in your muscle strength, well, that would be a disappointment. Although Tai Chi does not involve lifting weights or any heavy objects, its muscular and calm body movements can significantly improve your upper body strength. In addition to just improving your muscles, Tai Chi can enhance your abdomen and lower back muscles as well.
Regular Tai Chi practice are known to have a remarkable impact in assisting weight loss. Although, it may be difficult for most people to accept the fact that Tai Chi does indeed help in burning excess calories (due to the slow body movements). The fact is that Tai Chi helps in reducing weight. It is estimated that an hour of Tai Chi can burn up to 240 calories (depends on your body weight).
A study showed that 45 minutes of Tai Chi five times a week produced significant weight-loss results at the end of 12 weeks.
Practicing Tai Chi on a routine basis can improve overall health (physically and mentally). There are more than enough studies to back its health beneficial aspects. Hence Tai Chi for Health should be encouraged amongst all the age groups.