Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art focusing on defense training and meditation. Today, it has cultivated a global following owing to its numerous health benefits, particularly in relation to managing stress and tension.
But besides its mental health benefits, Tai Chi is a full-body workout that engages almost all your muscle groups. It has also been shown to be an excellent method of healthcare: its impacts on the body make you more resistant to diseases in the long term.
Read on if you're curious about how Tai Chi can benefit your body.
Tai Chi improves muscle strength and flexibility
Tai Chi is commonly referred to as meditation in motion, as it uses slow and controlled movements. Studies have shown that these movements significantly improve muscle strength, flexibility, and postural balance. Unlike endurance sports like swimming and running that primarily use a forward motion, Tai Chi uses three-dimensional movements. It thus expands your range of motion and extends your joints to heighten your stability, training you to be more flexible. It also engages muscle groups in your lower and upper body and core to retain your balance for greater strength.
Tai Chi helps you manage your weight
Keeping your weight low is critical to your long-term health, helping you avoid health conditions like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The best weight loss programs stress that although diets are a significant factor in weight loss, exercise helps you see faster results. Tai Chi is particularly helpful in this regard. This is because physical activities you enjoy can boost your weight loss journey as they're easier to sustain. Tai Chi will suit you perfectly if you prefer something other than high-intensity exercises. Its slow and controlled movements engage your body's large and small muscles. These muscle groups stimulate metabolism, encouraging more significant body fat loss even when you’re at rest.
Tai Chi strengthens your heart and lungs
When practicing Tai Chi, you are encouraged to observe proper breathing techniques maintained at a deep and steady level — even when you exert more effort to move. Research finds that this has positive effects on cardiorespiratory fitness since it significantly decreases resting heart rate and diastolic blood pressure (the pressure in your arteries between beats when your heart is at rest). This results in less strain on your blood vessels, lowering the risk of aneurysms or strokes. It also encourages heart rate variability, which trains your heart’s adaptability and resilience to stress.
Tai Chi relieves pain
One surprising benefit of Tai Chi is that it's proven to relieve pain effectively, especially for the elderly who practice it. The mind-and-body interaction it promotes boosts the flow of energy throughout your body and detracts attention from ailments, thus reducing pain. It also leverages muscle strength, static balance, and dynamic balance, which are targeted by other pain-relieving therapies. Lastly, practicing Tai Chi long-term produces brain activity that changes the brain's left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). As the ACC plays a crucial part in the emotional aspects of pain, inhibiting it through Tai Chi may help alleviate chronic pain.
Tai Chi is a timeless practice that yields immense benefits for your body. By practicing it regularly, you too can enjoy its positive health effects. If you want more information on Tai Chi, check us out here at Taiflow.
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