It’s Time for Tai Chi!

Tai Chi

As the New Year approaches we tend to focus on healthy eating first, then fitness; but a key facet of total wellness is generally overlooked – relaxing the body and mind. Tai Chi is the perfect addition to a healthy lifestyle, and it suits any age or fitness level.

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is a gentle series of movements, originally designed for self-defense, but has evolved into a graceful exercise that helps to relax the body and mind. By combining the movements with focused energy through deep breathing, Tai Chi helps to focus your thoughts and becomes a type of moving meditation, making it a perfect exercise to reduce stress levels.

Benefits of Tai Chi

Besides helping to reduce stress and anxiety, Tai Chi can help you to increase your aerobic capacity (so you will improve at other types of physical activity). Additionally, with regular practice, Tai Chi can give you more energy, stamina, flexibility, muscle strength, and muscle definition. Tai Chi also improves balance and agility – which is why it is such a popular exercise for older persons looking to combat the effects of aging. With regular practice, Tai Chi can help you sleep better, strengthen your immune system, lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, reduce risk of falls and improve overall well-being.

Getting Started

There are a variety of online videos or rentals that can get you started with Tai Chi, but for the best result it is recommended that you find a physical class to attend, as having an instructor to guide you through the positions will give you the benefit of learning Tai Chi more quickly. Local community centers often offer drop-in classes, as well as fitness clubs and seniors centers.

Advancing Your Skills

Although classes will certainly help you to learn Tai Chi, additional practice will increase the benefits. For the best results it is advisable to perform Tai Chi at the same time each day. If your schedule does not permit regular practice, try to set aside a few minutes each day to perform a few movements. Doing so will help to keep the movement fresh in your mind while giving you some time to relax every day and help your body to assimilate the benefits. Whether for flexibility, stress reduction, or simply to explore a new type of exercise, Tai Chi can offer a myriad of benefits to people of all fitness levels. Photo: title="Tai Chi">cszar