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Tai Chi- Ancient & Effective!

Tai Chi- Ancient & Effective!

 

You've most likely seen Tai Chi being practiced before; its slow, deliberate, graceful movements and the palpable sense of serenity and calm they generate. The ancient art of Tai Chi is becoming a more popular form of exercise here in the United States for both its physical and mental benefits, and it just might be a perfect fit for you! Started centuries ago in China as a defensive martial art, tai chi has over the years evolved into a more passive form of physical and mental exercise sometimes referred to as 'moving meditation'.

The benefits of practicing tai chi are many. One of the things that make it so appealing to those who are looking for a new exercise regimen is that almost anyone can do it-regardless of age or physical ability. It's gentle, slow movements are achievable even for those who never exercise, and over time it has shown great success in improving balance and strength, and helping decrease one's risks for falls. Tai chi can also increase endurance, energy and agility. These are just a few of the more obvious physical benefits of tai chi but there's also evidence that a tai chi regimen can also lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular fitness in older adults, relieve chronic pain and even give you a better night's sleep. 

Perhaps the most unique reward is an overall feeling of well-being. Tai chi involves a degree of concentration that, ideally, allows you to free your mind of all outside cares. Your attention is only focused on your breathing and executing the movements with smooth, gentle precision. Those who practice tai chi have reported a reduction in anxiety and depression as well.

If you're interested in exploring the benefits of this ancient art, first consult with your health care provider to make sure your physically capable and then check your local fitness or martial arts centers for a tai chi group near you. It's possible the new exercise program you've been searching for has been around for thousands of years!