Exercise is good for your body. Regular exercise can help you burn calories, lose weight, and enhance your muscle tone. These anti-aging effects make you feel better, and make your body healthier and stronger.
Wanting to exercise and actually being able to do it are two different things. Not everyone can afford to pay for an expensive gym membership, or re-arrange their work schedule to fit around the time when an exercise class is held. Some of us have health issues that make exercising more difficult for us than for younger, healthier, people. What can we do to exercise? Try tai chi!
What is tai chi?
Tai chi is an ancient form of martial arts. This centuries old practice originated in China, but is now taught and used all over the world. You may have seen a group of people in a park who are silently and slowly moving their bodies the same way at the same time. Tai chi is a common form of exercise in China, and is beneficial for people of every age and level of health. This is a low impact, aerobic, weight bearing exercise that is also helpful with relaxation.
What are the benefits of tai chi?
Tai chi helps with anti-aging in many ways. Regular practice of tai chi can ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis by reducing joint pain and stiffness. Tai chi improves balance and flexibility, which helps prevent falls. It increases your cardiovascular function, and overall body strength. Those who do tai chi sleep better than those who do not do tai chi. Few things can make you feel younger than the ability to wake up refreshed after a great nights sleep! Put all these benefits together and you can see why doing tai chi can make you feel stronger, healthier, and younger.
In addition to physical benefits, tai chi can also give you some mental benefits. Doing tai chi can ease symptoms of depression. It can help with the mental issues that are involved with being overweight or obese because it helps to center you, and make you more aware of where your body is in space. It can also help you to deal with the emotions that cause you to overeat. Tai chi assists with the mental aspects of anti-aging because it forces you to concentrate on what you are doing as you are doing it.
Where can I start?
Check with local gyms to see if they offer a tai chi class. There may be a martial arts studio that offers a class in tai chi that is near where you live. Both places are good if you want to work with a group of people who are all doing tai chi together. For a quick example of what tai chi looks like and feels like, go to YouTube, search for some tai chi videos, and give that a try. Prefer to exercise at home? There are some great tai chi DVDs that can get you started.