7 Reasons to Try Tai Chi

Monday, 17 Jun 2013 08:03 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
For modern, harried lifestyles focused on getting and spending, fitness experts say tai chi, the ancient Chinese slow-moving exercise, can be an ideal way for anyone to stay fit.
A staple in senior citizen centers and a common dawn sighting in public parks, the practice can offer long-term benefits for all age groups.
 
"In this high-tech world that's all about speed, greed and instant gratification, tai chi is the antidote to bring us back to balanced health," according to Arthur Rosenfeld, a tai chi master and the author of a new book called "Tai Chi — The Perfect Exercise: Finding Health, Happiness, Balance, and Strength."

Special: These 5 Things Flush 40 lbs. of Fat Out of Your Body.
 
"It doesn't mean you can win the marathon or clean and jerk 750 pounds or win a cycle sprint," said the South Florida resident, 56. "It's not about getting there sooner." Tai chi is more about how the body works than how it looks, and is about aging gracefully and "with less drama."
 
"The last time I looked, there were some 500 studies about the various physical benefits of tai chi, from improving balance and attention span to boosting the immune system to beating back the symptoms of arthritis, asthma, and insomnia," said Rosenfeld.
 
An estimated 2.3 million U.S. adults have done tai chi in the past 12 months, according to a 2007 National Health Interview Survey.
 
The practice is not perfect. Tai chi "does not supply the cardiovascular component that we'd be looking for in a well-rounded routine," said Jessica Matthews, a San Diego, California-based exercise physiologist. "The exertion level, while challenging, is not going to increase your heart rate."
 
'Grand Ultimate Motion'
T'ai chi ch'uan, as it is formally known, derives from a form of Chinese martial arts. Explaining the slow, circular movement of the practice, Rosenfeld said tai chi is a philosophical term that means the harmonious interplay of opposing forces.
 
When nature encounters a strong force, the way it answers that force to maintain harmony in the world is with a spiral, he said.

"Astronomers see galaxies moving in spirals, water goes down the drain in a spiral, tornados form as a spiral. We spiral in tai chi because the most effective way to move fluid through solid is a spiral."
 
Hawaii-based personal and group-fitness trainer Jordan Forth, who has studied tai chi since 2006, said one translation of tai chi is "grand ultimate motion."
 
"I recommend it to everybody," said Forth. "It teaches people to move well in multiple planes of motion with a state of awareness not cultivated in everyday fitness. Most people check out on a treadmill or during high-intensity activity."
 
Forth said tai chi improves mobility, movement, and flexibility, and can be even more dynamic than yoga, which the 35-year-old has studied since he was a teenager.

Special: Get Dr. Brownstein's Bestselling Diet Guide For Only $4.95— Save 67%. Click Here.
 
"With tai chi you're grounded the entire time," he said. "For me, (it) translates more into functional everyday movement."
 
Matthews, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise, said because tai chi is slow motion and low impact, many assume it's just for older people or not a viable means of exercise.
 
Not so, she said: Research studies have found that the practice increased mineral bone density, boosted endurance, strengthened the lower body, and eased depression.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Bird Flu Could 'Make Ebola Look Like a Picnic'

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 10:09 AM

The next Ebola or the next SARS. Maybe even the next HIV. Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under . . .

Pope Meets With Autistic Kids

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 10:01 AM

Pope Francis tenderly embraced children with autism spectrum disorders, some of whom avoided meeting his gaze, during an . . .

Female Bosses Prone to Depression: Study

Friday, 21 Nov 2014 23:11 PM

Being the boss at work seems to raise the odds for symptoms of depression among women, but not men, a new study finds.  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved