Tai Chi is an ancient form of exercise, both for the body and the mind that originated in China centuries ago. It has become a popular form of physical and mental movement here in the U.S. over the past two decades. While there are many different styles and forms of Tai Chi, they all have been linked to improved health outcomes.
The essential principles of Tai Chi include integrating the mind and the body. In fact, the ultimate purpose of this sport is to cultivate “qi” otherwise known as the essential life force whose properties are the basis of much of Chinese philosophy and medicine. The movements are slow and controlled, and those who practice Tai Chi learn to connect their movements to their breath. The Chinese believe that total harmony of the inner and outer self comes from integrating the mind and the body, and Tai Chi is a major component of this practice.
As mentioned before, there are many health benefits linked to the practice of Tai Chi. So what are they?
· Improved energy
· Better flexibility and agility
· Greater aerobic capacity and muscle strength
· Lower blood pressure and improved heart health (likely attributed to reduced stress in the body)
· Fewer falls
Practicing Tai Chi is generally safe for any level of physical fitness. It is low—to- no-impact, which is safe for the joints; and its slow, controlled movements help to keep you balanced and in control. It is as much about physical health as it is mental health, and it can help increase the serotonin levels in your body, which improve overall mood, and happiness levels. If you haven’t tried Tai Chi yet, click on the link below for some upcoming classes!
Inter Valley Health Plan hosts classes regularly on health and vitality. For a full list of classes in your area, please visit forhealthandliving.com/ivhpevents.
Article From Inter Valley Health Plan