What is tai chi?
Tai chi is a form of exercise that began as a Chinese tradition. It’s based in martial arts, and involves slow movements and deep breaths. Tai chi has many physical and emotional benefits. Some of the benefits of tai chi include decreased anxiety and depression and improvements in cognition Trusted Source. It may also help you manage symptoms of some chronic diseases, such as fibromyalgia Trusted Source or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Trusted Source.
Read on to learn more about the benefits and risks of tai chi, and how you can begin practicing this exercise.
One of the main benefits of tai chi is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, though most evidence is anecdotal.
In 2018, one studyTrusted Source compared the effects of tai chi on stress-related anxiety to traditional exercise. The study included 50 participants. The researchers found that tai chi provided the same benefits for managing stress-related anxiety as exercise. Because tai chi also includes meditation and focused breathing, the researchers noted that tai chi may be superior to other forms of exercise for reducing stress and anxiety. However, a larger-scale study is needed.
Tai chi is very accessible and lower impact than many other forms of exercise. The researchers found it to be safe and inexpensive, so it may be a good option if you are otherwise healthy and experiencing stress-related anxiety.
Tai chi may help improve your mood if you are depressed or anxious. Preliminary research suggests that regularly practicing tai chi can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It’s believed that the slow, mindful breaths and movements have a positive effect on the nervous system and mood-regulating hormones. Further research is being done to establish a clear link between tai chi and improved mood.
Regularly practicing tai chi may help you to have more restful sleep.
One studyTrusted Source followed young adults with anxiety after they were prescribed two tai chi classes each week, for 10 weeks. Based on participant reporting, the individuals who practiced tai chi experienced significant improvements in their quality of sleep compared to those in the control group. This same group also experienced a decrease in their anxiety symptoms.
Tai chi can improve sleep for older adults, too. In a study published in 2016 Trusted Source, researchers found that two months of twice-weekly tai chi classes was associated with better sleep in older adults with cognitive impairment.
Regularly practicing tai chi can result in weight loss. One study tracked changes in weight in a group of adults practicing tai chi five times a week for 45 minutes. At the end of the 12 weeks, these adults lost a little over a pound without making any additional lifestyle changes.
Tai chi may improve cognition in older adults with cognitive impairment. More specifically, tai chi may help improve memory and executive functioning skills like paying attention and carrying out complex tasks ……….. Continue Reading…………. ………………….