Martial Arts have been popular in the US for a very long time. But did you know, beside the benefits of cardio exercise and learning self-defense and discipline, there are forms of martial arts that are great for reducing stress? One of the best martial arts for your mind, body and soul is Tai Chi.
Whether you already practice yoga and or meditation, or are new to taking care of your mind along with your body, Tai Chi is the next discipline you should try. Originally developed for self-defense, Tai Chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that’s now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions. Often described as meditation in motion, Tai Chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements.
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a thoughtful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.
Tai Chi, also called Tai Chi Chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.
Tai Chi has many different styles. Each style may have its own subtle emphasis on various Tai Chi principles and methods. There are also variations within each style. Some may focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of Tai Chi.
Tai Chi is low impact and puts minimal stress on muscles and joints, making it generally safe for all ages and fitness levels. In fact, because Tai Chi is low impact, it may be especially suitable if you’re an older adult who otherwise may not exercise.
You may also find Tai Chi appealing because it’s inexpensive, requires no special equipment and can be done indoors or out, either alone or in a group.
Although Tai Chi is generally safe, women who are pregnant or people with joint problems, back pain, fractures, severe osteoporosis or a hernia should consult their health care provider before trying Tai Chi. Modification or avoidance of certain postures may be recommended.
When learned correctly and performed regularly, Tai Chi can be a positive part of an overall approach to improving your health.
The benefits of Tai Chi include:
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Increased aerobic capacity
- Increased energy and stamina
- Increased flexibility, balance and agility
- Increased muscle strength and definition
Some evidence indicates that Tai Chi also may help:
- Enhance quality of sleep
- Enhance the immune system
- Lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Improve joint pain
- Improve symptoms of congestive heart failure
- Improve overall well-being in older adults
- Reduce risk of falls in older adults
The only place to find Tai Chi classes between Wilmington and Emerald Isle is United Martial Arts, located at 125-A Henderson Dr. Jacksonville, NC 28540.
Now, if we can just find a good Qigong spot…