In our youth-oriented society, we are constantly bombarded with information on how to stay young. From skin care products that claim to reverse the signs of aging to books that claim to help you eat to stay young, we are a people in search of the fountain of youth. One solution that truly may be a way of keeping young is Tai Chi. Tai chi is an ancient form of exercise developed about 2,000 years ago in China which is a combination of both meditation and a series of slow and deliberate movements. You may have seen Tai Chi performed by older adults in your local park, on TV, or perhaps by someone who attends Tai Chi classes.
The benefits derived from Tai Chi have been well known and documented. It not only relieves stress, but enhances one's balance and flexibility as well. In addition, the movements in Tai Chi are some of the best exercise to help alleviate health problems in older adults. While anyone can master the art of Tai Chi, this form of exercise is popular with older adults. Because it is low impact, Tai Chi does not cause major strains on the body or joints and is particularly effective for those who suffer from any form of arthritis.
Recent studies have shown that Tai Chi, when practiced by older adults, offered calm and balance, dissipated anxiety and depression, helped older adults to sleep better, reduced bone loss in menopausal women, decreased blood pressure, helped in alleviating pain, and prepared them for tasks performed on a daily basis. All these benefits help the body to better combat the stresses of aging.
Considered to be a great form of exercise, Tai Chi requires no equipment, no time table, is very easy to do, has no side effects, and gives older adults the opportunity to meet others who love the exercise as well. Once you learn Tai Chi and the proper way to move, there is virtually no chance of injury.
Whether you practice Tai Chi in your home by following exercises on DVDs, or whether you go to your local park and practice Tai Chi there, once you begin this form of exercise, you will most likely continue for the rest of your life. Further, you may also want to incorporate a similar form of exercise known as Qi Gong. Based on the same principle of slow movements, Qi Gong, while new to this country, has been around as long as Tai Chi and provides the same benefits as Tai Chi.
Often considered to be a form of meditation, Tai Chi also provides the benefits one receives through meditation. Meditation has long been studied and affirmed to be one of the best forms of relaxation as well as a great stress reducer. Reducing stress should be the number one goal for anyone who wishes to keep young. Adding this with exercise and you have an unbeatable combination. More importantly, not only will you develop a new exercise routine, but you will begin to feel good about it, your health, and your overall well-being.
So we may not have discovered the Fountain of Youth, but performing Tai Chi will definitely help you and your body be fit and healthy so that you may enjoy a long, healthy, and balanced life.
By Sandra Hishinuma