Tai chi is one of the most ancient forms of kung fu created in China that is famous for being practiced in large groups in parks all across China. It soon spread to the West and many have taken to practice the art in their older years as it promotes circulation, joint health and relaxation. It is important to note these benefits are enjoyed by practitioners of all ages. These are ten reasons you should consider learning Tai Chi.
Many young people either in college or just entering the workforce suffer from some level of stress. Tai chi's slow and deliberate forms require concentration and a clear mind. Taking time to practice the forms will help clear your mind and channel the stress into another outlet.
Tai chi has several movements that initial challenge beginner practitioners as most people do not utilize similar movements in daily life. With practice, most practitioners will gain a better sense of balance. No more falls on that icy sidewalk or that wet pavement.
3 Low Impact Exercise
Unlike most forms of exercise, Tai Chi is low impact and a good choice for those who cannot do more intense exercising or have injuries. The forms require no equipment or specialized clothing. Just wear comfortable loose clothing for ease of movement.
4 Posture and Flexibility
The ancient form of martial arts slowly straighten the posture of its practitioners and increase flexibility over time.
Studies have shown that Tai Chi is effective in combating depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.
6 Pain Reduction
The deliberate movements of Tai Chi's many forms stimulate muscle and tendons in ways most exercises cannot target. It's pain reduction can be felt as early as two months of daily practice.
7 Sleep more soundly
Tai Chi promotes better sleep through daily practice. Calming the mind and relaxing the body, its gentle movements stimulate the brain chemicals that promote sleep.
8 Muscle strength
Although Tai Chi does not use weights or resistance training, Tai Chi's deliberate movements uses the weight of its practitioner to add resistance to the exercise. Very early exercises are geared towards refocusing the body's weight by engaging all the tendons and bones while relaxing the muscles. This refocusing causes extremities to feel very heavy due to the lack of muscle engagement.
9 Aerobic Training
Tai Chi isn't always slow as it is most often portrayed. It has fast paced forms such as the Cannon Fist that focus on strength and speed while still engaging all the body's muscles, tendons and bones. These more advanced forms are great for an aerobic workout.
Tai Chi also focuses on breathing techniques that are taught alongside forms and stances. The breath exercises boost pulmonary function and decrease airway inflammation leading better quality of life for Asthmatic people. Those who do not suffer from Asthma have been shown to gain increased lung capacity over time as well.
Tai Chi is a wonderful way to start exercising and easy to practice with little to no equipment required. Low impact with many other benefits, it should be promoted more thoroughly as a non-medical alternative to aches and pains along with improving mental and physical health. Good luck with practicing.