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What is Tai Chi & Why Should You Do It

Tai Chi has been around for years, but it is suddenly gaining more momentum and popularity. There is a new surge in the hype surrounding the workout has people asking what exactly is Tai Chi and why should they do it?

What is Tai Chi? It is a form of martial art that originated in China. There is uncertainty regarding how long it has been around, anywhere from hundreds to thousands of years. Although, it is a different form of martial art than the fighting you may have seen in movies. Tai Chi is more internal and is all about connecting with your spiritual and mental energy.

It is a prolonged movement workout, as opposed to the aggressive fighting. People have a difficulty learning the skill because even though martial arts moves are used, they are done so without anger and hostility. The focus of practicing the internal martial art comes from Chinese philosophy and means “fist of the supreme ultimate.”

When you do Tai Chi, you are more in tune with how the different parts of your body are connected. Those who practice it understand because of the slow movements you are more aware of each body part. Even though a majority of people refer to it as a meditation workout, it is so much more.

Yes, Tai Chi is an excellent form of relaxation, but it also rejuvenates your mind, spirit, and body. It has often been called meditation on wheels because it is about you are a whole person, not one part of you. A study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine that those who practice Tai Chi regularly have seen a reduction in stress, anxiety. The study further proved the workout also increased people’s self-esteem.

The mental benefits of doing the internal martial arts are fantastic, as you can see by the study. But are the physical benefits as well as the mental? Even though people do workout to help relieve stress and other psychological issues, one big motivational factor of exercising is physical, especially for those trying to lose or maintain a certain weight.

There is a misconception about Tai Chi that it is not active enough for you to get any physical benefits out of it but that is not true. However, the reason this myth is still so popular is that most of the data collected on the internal martial arts were done on older individuals. There is very little research on the effects it has on young adults, teenagers or even kids. Now, that doesn’t mean it is not beneficial to people of all ages, that is merely the data behind the various research that has been conducted.

Two of the most significant physical benefits people have is that it helps with flexibility and balance. Since the movements are done at a slower pace, they allowed you to stretch the body, as well as focus on staying in one position when necessary. Tai Chi is also great for your bones. As you get older having stronger bones is priceless.

Those who do Tai Chi consistently discovered they have more muscle strength than before they began practicing. Both upper and lower body strength will increase because of the type of movement, as well as various balance movements. You are using your own body weight, so that will also make your muscles leaner not bulky. A lot of people want to be lean, not bulky, and the internal martial art can help achieve that goal.

One health benefit that is not talked about a lot but is extremely important. Tai Chi can help lower your blood pressure. There have also been studies that have shown it can decrease cholesterol levels as well. However, doing the workout alone will not achieve these results, you still have to eat right and reduce stress, but the later can be done with Tai Chi too.

If you have not tried the old Chinese internal martial arts workout, you should. Put all your misconceptions a try and give it a chance, especially if you have specific joint issues, anxiety issues or even bone issues. The only downside is the classes tend to do the same couple of routines so they can get a little dull. But many people say it is the routine that allows them to relax, unwind and enjoy the workout.

Have you ever done Tai Chi? If so, please share your thoughts with us in the below comments section.