Tai Chi is Exploding – Here’s Why You Need to Get on This New Fitness Trend
Tai Chi Chuan is an old Chinese defense exercise whose origins date back to 1500 years, but the martial arts has only recently started gaining popularity due to its mental and physical health benefits.
A number of resources including Pinterest have featured this Chinese practice in the top 100 trends of 2018. If you love intense, heart-pumping workouts, Tai Chi may sound boring at first due to its slow, rhythmical movements, but once you try this martial arts exercise, you’ll learn that it’s anything but.
Researchers are also joining in to show the amazing physical and psychological benefits of Tai Chi. Adding this ancient Chinese practice to your gym routine is even more important if your training sessions are packed with intense exercises. Performing Tai Chi helps develop a mind-body connection which makes you more aware of your physical being; no wonder dancers and athletes are huge fans of this practice.
Tree of Life Tai Chi Center’s director Peter Wayne says that Tai Chi is one of the few mind-body exercises that really help you focus on how different part of your body connect together and whether your energy body aligns with your physical being. Wayne believes that the physical and mental awareness you achieve through this exercise can actually be beneficial in preventing injuries when performing intense workouts.
Want more reasons to believe that Tai Chi could be the best investment of your time? Keep on reading.
What Is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi Chuan, also known as Taijiquan, originated in China many centuries ago as a martial art for improving balance, flexibility and mental strength. It is considered an internal defense exercise since it depends on harnessing your spiritual energy and mental awareness to perform the movements.
Nowadays, Tai Chi is touted more for its health benefits than its usefulness for self-defense. Moreover, the self-defense element of Tai Chi can take years to master – no wonder its Chinese name literally translates to ‘fist of the supreme ultimate’.
Tai Chi for Mental Health
Just like meditation and yoga, Tai Chi is an exercise that emphasizes more on mental strength than physical strength. In many ways, this martial art is similar to meditation.
A major scientific analysis of 40 different studies on Tai Chi showed that this amazing practice can have a positive impact on mental health by reducing the symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress and improving self-esteem and confidence.
Tai Chi for Physical Health
One of the most common misbeliefs about Tai Chi is that it isn’t as intense as other popular exercises but the practice gets its health benefits from the slow, rhythmic motions. When you’re moving fast, it’s hard to connect with your body or focus on your balance and flexibility which is why it is important to incorporate both slow and fast-paced exercises in your workout routine.
The best thing about Tai Chi is that it can be practiced at all fitness levels and ages which is why it is often called the ‘old person’ workout. This stereotypical view stems from the fact that most research on the health benefits of Tai Chi is conducted on older participants instead of younger people. One of the few studies conducted on young college students showed that practicing Tai Chi can be beneficial for mental and physical health. This goes to show that this Chinese exercise works well for all age groups.
Many studies have also focused on the effect of Tai Chi on bone health, suggesting that the exercise can help in maintaining stronger bones in old age. This is one of the reasons why incorporating Tai Chi in your workout routine from an early stage in life can improve your overall well-being down the line and reduce the risk of bone related injuries and diseases.
What Tai Chi Classes Look Like
Tai Chi has 5 major styles but the one that is most commonly taught in the U.S. is the Yang style which focuses on a single form of continuous movement performed in a slow, meticulous manner to improve balance and flexibility.
Ready to take your first Tai Chi Chuan lesson? You can find a studio closest to you through American Tai Chi and Qigong Association’s official website.
More in Fitness
Be in Control of Your Life With These Three Basic NLP Techniques
Neuro-linguistic program is a method used by goal-oriented people who believe that everything that happens in life is not by chance...May 4, 2020
Five Ways To Tackle Mental Blocks To Become More Motivated
Motivational videos, quotations, books, and articles are great, but these external sources of motivation aren’t enough if you refuse to be...May 1, 2020
Six Alternatives Sources for Protein When You Switch to a Vegan Diet
The number of people switching to a plant-based or vegan diet is continuously on the rise. However, the reasons each of them...April 30, 2020
This Is Why Functional Fitness Needs To Be A Part Of Your Life
There’s no good having solid glutes if you can’t squat to tie your shoelaces – just like it’s no good having...April 29, 2020
Four Financial Survival Tips You Should Know About
Most of us know how to handle our finances properly. Others even live through the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. Not having financial literacy...April 24, 2020
Four Types of Junk Food That Can Make You Vulnerable to Coronavirus
The coronavirus has affected the world in so many ways, including the choice of our food. As we come to feed...April 23, 2020
How Important is Nutrition?
Nutrition has an extensive definition in the science world. It’s like the fuel for our body’s engine to make it function....April 21, 2020
Give These Eating Habits the Boot During the Pandemic!
Presently, the coronavirus pandemic has altered life as we know it. The lifestyle of many during the pandemic has taken a...April 20, 2020
Why Your Body’s Flexibility Deserves More Attention!
Assuming that you are not suffering from any kind of illness affecting mobility, flexibility is one of the body’s first qualities...April 17, 2020