Tai Chi and Bagua

Tai Chi and Bagua

Tai Chi and Bagua

Health, wellness, and fitness trends come and go but today the latest trend is something new: it�s been practiced for thousands of years. That trend is Tai Chi and it�s one of the most popular routines being practiced in health clubs all over the country.

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi started in China more than a thousand years ago as a method of self-defense. However, today Tai Chi is an ideal part of exercises, especially for older people and individuals who need a less physically stressful routine. That�s because the routines emphasize slow, elegant motions that are created by a continuous, flowing movement of the body.

Although the body is moving slowly, it does provide specific health benefits. Besides promoting the flow of energy (known as �chi�) through your body, it also helps exercise many of the major muscle groups in the body. As the body moves, exercise is simply restricted to certain parts of the body. Instead, every area of the body receives the benefits of the movement because of the unique approach to exercise.

Benefits of Tai Chi

Besides the total body workout that Tai Chi provides, it also can help you in many other ways. For example, the slow and graceful movements require your mind to mentally focus so you are also exercising your mind as well as your body. Additionally, the movements help reduce stress and tension in the body and mind so you�ll feel more relaxed after a session.

Tai Chi is also known to improve flexibility, stamina, and balance. Regular practice of Tai Chi has also been shown to reduce heart disease and to improve overall cardiovascular health. These exercises can also be done more quickly as part of self-defense training and to provide a more intense workout without sacrificing the other benefits.

However, for older individuals or those in poor health, Tai Chi exercises can be done with a significantly reduced risk of injury and strain. That�s important for people who need an easier, less physically stressful exercise routine.

Doing Tai Chi

While you can learn Tai Chi from private instructors or through courses held at health clubs and other locations, you can also simply do the exercises in the privacy of your own home. To get the most benefits, you�ll want to do Tai Chi at least twice a day for around 20 minutes each time. That�s less than an hour of daily exercise but you�ll feel better, more relaxed, and healthier even after only a few sessions.

No matter what your age or current level of fitness, Tai Chi provides an easy way to incorporate safe exercises into your life. Getting started is as simple as finding a way to learn the basics. You could ask your physician or contact some of the fitness venues in your area to see if any Tai Chi courses are being offered. Some colleges are even offering the courses, and these are often available to the general public. You can also learn a great deal about Tai Chi through Internet resources.
Dr. Charlotte El-Amin, R.N., N.D. is a Naturopathic Physician and a Registered Nurse who enjoys writing on various subjects. http://www.womenshealthyexercise.com/

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