[Last Updated: June 29th 2013]
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements, a focused manner by deep breathing, which helps reduce stress and anxiety. It also helps increase flexibility and balance.
It was originally developed for self-defense and evolved into a graceful form of exercise that’s now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions, since it is also described as meditation in motion. The practice of Tai Chi is highly recommended for people who are quitting smoking, as it decreases stress.
Tai Chi 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, similar as what you see in yoga and has many positive benefits for your body and soul such as:
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Increased aerobic capacity
- Increased energy and stamina
- Increased flexibility, balance and agility
- Increased muscle strength and definition
- Enhance quality of sleep
- Enhance the immune system
- Lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Improve joint pain
- Improve symptoms of congestive heart failure
- Improve overall well-being in older adults
This exercise has low Impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels and can be done anywhere, outdoor or indoor.
While you may get some benefit from a 12-week tai chi class, you may enjoy greater benefits if you continue tai chi for the long term and become more skilled.