Why Tai Chi Is The Best Exercise for Adults of All Ages
We can’t talk enough about Tai Chi, a beautiful way to wake up your mind and body as you mix exercise, meditation, and more! Developed in 13th-century China, this gentle form of martial arts has been described as “medication in motion” by Harvard Medical School. The slow movements and flexible techniques help to build endurance and offer a versatile exercise option for all – regardless of age, experience, or chronic health conditions. Whether you’re a 20-something hoping to learn Tai Chi for self-defense, an 80-something with a need for easy exercise, or anyone in between, here are the reasons you’ll love this experience.
Tai Chi is a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints, making it a great option for any adults with arthritis or muscle issues. In fact, a study by Tufts University shows that Tai Chi can specifically reduce the pain and physical impairment of people with severe knee OA. There are countless other researchers who agree with this sentiment, further explaining how the practice is shown to improve things like stiffness and physical function in those with joint diseases.
Balance is an essential component of overall health, especially for mature adults. Tai Chi is a great way to improve balance because it involves slow and controlled movements that require you to shift your weight from one foot to the other. According to a study published in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, Tai Chi has even been shown to improve balance and reduce the risk of falls in older adults!
Stress is a common problem for people of all ages, but what if we told you that this exercise routine could help you slow things down and relax? Because it definitely can; there are endless studies to prove it! Tai Chi combines all the aspects of meditation — deep breathing, mindfulness and slow movements. All help you focus on what’s important in your life. Family, friends, fresh air… all of these things are front and center with this ancient Chinese exercise. And it doesn’t just temporarily lower your stress levels, as research has shown that it can also help long-term with depression and anxiety.
It’s a form of self-defense
While Tai Chi may be one of the most gentle forms of martial arts ever, it still helps you defend yourself against the outside world. The practice puts you more in touch with your body, uses intuition to guide your body and mind, and provides more insight into your surroundings. As you become more trusting of yourself and your gut, courtesy of the meditation-meets-medication vibes of Tai Chi, you may be more aware of dangerous situations. And it doesn’t hurt that your flexibility and reflexes will be at the top of their game, giving anybody second thought about putting you in harm’s way!
It may be a low-impact exercise, but it still requires you to use your muscles to control your movements. Over time, practicing Tai Chi can help build strength in the legs, arms, and core, making it easier to perform daily tasks and reduce the risk of injury, especially for mature adults. According to a study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Tai Chi has been shown to improve lower-body strength in adults.