Tai Chi for Beginners: How Tai Chi Promotes Longevity

Tai Chi for Beginners

Image by franciscojcesar from Pixabay

It’s well known that many people around the world practice tai chi because it’s good exercise, especially for balance and relaxation.   Here’s the background on tai chi for beginners considering getting started.

The meditative exercise of tai chi originated in ancient China and is similar to Qigong.

Tai Chi is rooted in Chinese medicine.  It identifies three key elements of tai chi: mind focus (meditation), breath focus, and body focus (posture and movement) (1,2).

Tai chi is touted by the Chinese as an exercise that enhances life essence, or Qi, while incorporating purposeful control of the breath and mind.

What you may not know is that tai chi has many other benefits that can significantly improve your health and increase longevity.


 

Tai Chi for Beginners: 7 Ways Tai Chi Promotes Longevity

Tai chi has been shown to boost your longevity by taking a holistic approach.

Its benefits are felt through multiple systems in your body, to improve your overall health and wellness.

Here are 7 ways tai chi supports different systems to promote longevity:

  1. Bone mineral density

Meta-Analysis research showed that 24 weeks of tai chi improved bone mineral density in the spines and femurs of participants (peri and postmenopausal women, seniors, survivors of breast cancer, female osteoarthritis patients).

Performing tai chi 45 minutes, 5 days per week for 12 months has been shown to significantly slow bone loss in the lumbar spines and femurs of post menopausal women.

  1. Cardiopulmonary

Given that tai chi tends to be a relaxing exercise, it may not surprise you that research has found a significant reduction in blood pressure by those participating in a 12-week aerobic exercise program consisting of tai chi.

Not only was there a 15 point reduction in systolic blood pressure and an 8 point drop in diastolic blood pressure in another study after 12 weeks of tai chi, but cholesterol dropped 15 points as well.

 

  1. Falls and balance 

It’s not surprising that many people participate in tai chi for better balance.

Multiple studies have demonstrated significant improvements in balance, including one that reduced the risk of multiple falls by 47.5%.

The Journal of Rheumatology reported significant improvements in balance among female seniors with osteoarthritis after 12 weeks of tai chi.

Within just 3 weeks of participating in tai chi, clinical balance measures significantly improved among seniors.

If you want to improve your balance, tai chi is a great way to go.

 

  1. Quality of life 

The preponderance of research demonstrates that your quality of life is likely to improve with tai chi.

It’s been shown that tai chi can improve social relationships, personal beliefs, and psychological state — all factors that support a person’s quality of life.

Patients with chronic stable heart failure reported significant improvements in quality of life scores with tai chi, as well as demonstrating increased walking distance in 6 minutes.

Additional research demonstrated improved quality of life scores among advanced HIV (AIDS) patients, including “positive physical changes, enhanced psychological coping, and improved social interactions.”

This was after participating in tai chi twice weekly for 8 weeks.

 

  1. Arthritis 

If you’re looking for a way to mitigate your arthritis, look no further than tai chi.

After one hour of tai chi per week for 12 weeks, participants with arthritis reported significant improvements in their symptoms and improved satisfaction with general health status.

Participation in tai chi has also demonstrated that it can be a safe alternative to high-impact exercise for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

 

 

  1. Immune function and inflammation

Strengthening your immune system is important if you want to defend yourself against the diseases of aging.

Research has shown that tai chi can play a role in strengthening your immune system and reducing inflammation.

Research published in the Journal of Beijing Institute of Physical Education and Chinese Journal of Sports Medicine has shown that tai chi can improve immunoglobulin G (IgG) (3) and natural killer (NK) cells (4) function.

Immunoglobulin G binds pathogens, including viruses, bacteria and fungi, protecting the body from infection.

Natural killer cells quickly respond to virus-infected cells and other intracellular pathogens about 3 days after infection, and they also act against the formation of tumors.

 

 

  1. Psychological

You would expect that a meditative form of exercise would have psychological benefits, and tai chi has demonstrated that it can deliver when it comes to managing stress, depression, and anxiety.

Research published in Arthritis and Rheumatism demonstrated that Tai Chi significantly improves depression, stress, and anxiety in patients with osteoarthritis (5).

Numerous other studies have corroborated these findings when it comes to psychological well-being.

 

Tai Chi for Beginners: Incorporate Tai Chi to Promote Longevity

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to showing how tai chi promotes longevity and health.

Not only does tai chi not require any special equipment, it can be done almost anywhere.

This makes it an accessible form for exercise for many people.

Having been practiced by the Chinese for thousands of years, tai chi is time tested and proven.

If you’re looking for a group to practice with, the Tai Chi Foundation can help out.

Relax and enjoy as you use tai chi to promote longevity and health.

 

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

 

References

  1. Larkey L, Jahnke R, Etnier J, Gonzalez J. Meditative movement as a category of exercise: Implications for research. Journal of Physical Activity & Health. 2009; 6:230–238.
  2. Jahnke, R. The Healing Promise of Qi: Creating Extraordinary Wellness through Qigong and Tai Chi. Chicago, Il: Contemporary Books; 2002.
  3. Zhang GD. The impacts of 48-form tai chi chuan and yi qi yang fei gong on the serum levels of IgG, gM, IgA, and IgE in humans. Journal of Beijing Institute of Physical Education. 1990; 4:12–14.
  4. Li ZQ, Shen Q. The impact of the performance of wu’s tai chi chuan on the activity of natural killer cells in peripheral blood in the elderly. Chinese Journal of Sports Medicine. 1995:53–56.
  5. Fransen M, Nairn L, Winstanley J, Lam P, Edmonds J. Physical activity for osteoarthritis management: A randomized controlled clinical trial evaluating hydrotherapy or tai chi classes. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 2007; 57:407–14.

Share this:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

Hi, I'm Kent

As a personal trainer, kinesiotherapist and bodybuilder, I’ve dedicated my life to optimal nutrition, fitness and natural remedies. And putting it all into practice. Now I’m taking my experience and knowledge to the next level by helping others through blogging.

Subscribe

and get the FREE resource – 8 essential foods you should eat for a longer, healthier life

Browse by Category

POPULAR POSTS

By signing up for this guide, you will also be added to my mailing list. You will receive periodic updates and special offers from me via email. I will not sell or distribute your email address to a third party at any time. View my privacy policy.

8 Essential Foods
You Should Eat for a
Longer, Healthier Life