Tai chi is a traditional Chinese martial arts form that is practiced in the West as a form of exercise. The benefits of tai chi are numerous. Tai chi will help you to relax, exercise your muscles and improve your overall health. Here are six benefits of tai chi:
1. Reduces Stress
When you take a tai chi class, you move slowly through a series of continuous movements. It is a very meditative process. You are focused on the movements while breathing deeply and systematically. In a fast-paced society, it is not often that your mind is focused only on your movements for a long period of time. The slow movements of tai chi, the conscious deep breathing and bringing your mental focus to only what you are doing at this very moment has been known to reduce anxiety and create a sense of calm. In some cases, people have found it to decrease their depression. Tai chi, therefore, is a great way to reduce your daily stress.
2. A Low-Impact Alternative
Tai chi is a good low-impact form of exercise for older adults or those recovering from injuries. You get the benefit of movement and a mild increase in your heart rate as you move through the tai chi sequences. You are guided through controlled movement by a trained instructor. Tai chi does not carry the risk of injury that you may experience in higher impact forms of exercise. If you want to exercise daily in a guided setting but cannot endure an aerobics class or similar strenuous activity, tai chi may be for you.
3. Improves Balance and Strength
Tai chi improves your balance and muscle strength. Moving slowly as is the case with tai chi gives you an opportunity to develop your muscles in new ways. Contrary to popular belief, slow movement can and does build muscular strength. Moving slowly and shifting weight from one leg to another also improves your balance.
4. Improves Sleep
The serenity that you experience in a tai chi class stays with you throughout the day and into the night. People who practice tai chi find that their sleep improves. Your stress level decreases, allowing you to fall asleep more quickly and easily. You will also suffer less from interrupted sleep throughout the night.
5. Decreases Chronic Pain
Tai chi has been known to reduce chronic pain. This is based on the belief that pain in the body is often caused by blockages in energy. When you practice tai chi, your blood circulation improves, causing nutrients to be more easily transported to your cells, facilitating a faster process of healing and regeneration for your muscles and joints.
6. Increases Energy
As is the case with most types of exercise, your energy level will increase after a regular practice of tai chi. If you have not been exercising in some time, tai chi will strengthen your muscles, reduce your stress and give you a noticeable rise in energy and endurance.