It is believed in China that Tai Chi is a form of martial art that can prolong life, delay ageing, strengthen tendons and muscles and increase flexibility. Tai Chi also aids in the treatment of high blood pressure, heart disease, digestive disorders, arthritis, depression, cancer, skin disease and many other common illnesses.
Although there is no substantial scientific evidences to uphold and support all these claims, however there are some personal evidences of several individuals to support the positive effects of Tai Chi on fitness, health and balancing factors that determines the wellbeing of our body.
Here are some of the documented benefits of practicing Tai Chi on a day to day basis:
1. Helps in balance and stops falling
Most of the research done on older individuals those who practice Tai Chi has confirmed that this form of exercise helps individuals in the area of balance and fall prevention acts. This is most important as fall related injuries are often the cause of death from injury and also disability among the older adults all across the globe. It has been seen one half of all older adults those who suffers from hip fractures never regains their formal level of functionality. It has been observed that as Tai Chi movements are slow and it shifts the body weight deliberately from one leg to the other in coordination with the upper body movements, practicing Tai Chi improves balance and thus helps in reducing falling down accidentally.
2. Improves self confidence
Self confidence in general and the confidence about not falling down accidentally is an unintended benefit of practicing Tai Chi regularly. It has been observed that when mental as well as physical control of the body is perceived to be enhanced in a generalized sense, Tai Chi helps in improving the self-confidence of the ageing people those who finds motivation in practicing this exercise.
3. Improves strength and endurance
When adults who has been practicing Tai Chi for at least three times in a week, has been put through a battery of physical fitness tests in order to measure their flexibility, muscular strength and power of endurance, significant improvement has been observed in all people who has even practiced Tai Chi even just for 12 weeks. These studies conclude that Tai Chi is a potent intervention that increases upper and lower body muscular strengths even in older adults with the time span of just a few weeks.
4. Increase aerobic capacity
Although our ability to perform traditional form of aerobic exercises diminishes with age, with the help of meta-analytic studies it has been found that practicing Tai Chi just for a year (classical yang style with 108 postures), helps in increasing aerobic capacity even among the elders.
5. Increase the speed of walking
It has been observed that people those who practice Tai Chi are capable of walking significantly more steps than sedentary individuals who do not practice this exercise. As walking has been clearly associated with decrease in the risk of cardiovascular diseases, practicing Tai Chi helps in alleviating such problems. Moreover diseases like diabetes and other chronic illnesses which also find relief from walking is often taken into control by practice of Tai Chi on a daily basis.
Apart from the above mentioned benefits Tai Chi is also effective as an exercise that alleviates stress and helps in curing diseases like Fibromyalgia (FM), which is a musculoskeletal disease of unknown origin.