Archive for September 2014
Relieves Stress & Creates Peacefulness
The demands of living are stressful for adults of all ages. Although one cannot directly point to studies showing a reduction in stress from practicing tai chi the breathing, movement, and mental concentration required of individuals who practice tai chi may be just the distraction you need from your hectic lifestyle. The mind-body connection is one that deserves special attention, as it has been reported that breathing coordinated with body movement and eye-hand coordination promote calmness. While practicing tai chi, the inner sense of peace and calm is indisputable, and so I suggest that you give tai chi a chance if you’re looking for a creative and physically active way to improve how you mentally and physically respond to stress.
Increase Energy & Alertness
Regular Tai chi practice has been shown to improve the ability to stay focused on particular tasks and studies have shown that it can increase mental alertness and clarity. This translates to operating efficiently and higher productivity. Various Tai chi movements incorporate ‘whole brain thinking’ using both left and right hemispheres as well as the pre-frontal cortex. This region of the brain is responsible for higher cognitive functions such as problem solving, mental imagery, decision-making and motivation.
Boost memory, In a recent randomized controlled trial from the University of south Florida and Shanghai revealed that participants practicing Tai chi three times per week showed a significant size in brain volume and marked improvement in cognitive ability and memory.
Develops Strength and Endurance
One study took adults who practiced tai chi three times a week for 12 weeks (60-minute classes). These adults were given a battery of physical-fitness tests to measure balance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility before and after the 12 weeks. After just six weeks, statistically significant improvements were observed in balance, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility measures. Improvements in each of these areas increased further after 12 weeks. The authors of the study concluded that tai chi is a potent intervention that improved balance, upper- and lower-body muscular strength and endurance, and upper- and lower-body flexibility in adults.
Individuals who practiced tai chi for one year had higher aerobic capacity than sedentary individuals around the same age. The authors state that tai chi may be an additional form of aerobic exercise.
Improves Balance, Grace & Health
Because tai chi movements are slow and deliberate with shifts of body weight from one leg to the other in coordination with upper body movements (sometimes with one leg in the air), it challenges balance and many have long assumed it helps improve balance and reduce fall frequency. A study involving 22 men and women aged 22 to 76 years with mild balance disorders, it was found that eight weeks of tai chi training significantly improved function on a standard balance test.
Stay Supple and flexible Tai chi movements are gentle on the body and work harmoniously with muscles, ligaments and tendons. Therefore, regular Tai chi practice increases range of motion in joints and improves flexibility in muscle fibers.
Aids in the function of all body systems Tai chi promotes the natural flow of body fluids, blood and oxygen to all parts of the body thus aiding the digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system, nervous system and the musculoskeletal system.