Tai Chi: Opening a Gateway to Relaxation, Fitness and Ease

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art and system of physical movement that’s been used for self-defense and relaxation for over 3,000 years. The Harvard School for Public Health says that the practice should be called “medication in motion, rather than meditation in motion” due to its extensive health benefits…

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art and system of physical movement that’s been used for self-defense and relaxation for over 3,000 years. The Harvard School for Public Health says that the practice should be called “medication in motion, rather than meditation in motion” due to its extensive health benefits. From dealing with stress to treating and preventing serious medical conditions, here’s a closer look at four reasons you might want to give Tai Chi a try.

It’s low impact

This form of exercise features a series of movements named for different animals or martial arts movements. It’s low impact, meaning it doesn’t put pressure on the joints. Instead, you move, focus, and breathe. It’s a great choice for older students, people stepping back into fitness, and athletes looking for new ways to cross train.

It offers numerous medical benefits

Clinical studies have highlighted the benefits of Tai Chi for conditions as diverse as arthritis, breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and insomnia. Study results have been published in peer-reviewed journals on these findings including publications as diverse as the Journal of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair and Preventative Cardiology.

It offers fitness improvements

Low impact doesn’t mean that you’re not strength training, improving your flexibility, and balance. One Stanford University study found that just 12 weeks of classes showed measurable improvements in upper and lower body strength for participants. Tai Chi also provides moderate aerobic benefits, particularly when done in combination with exercise such as brisk walking or biking.

Classes are easy

Many people who have not practiced martial arts before don’t know what to expect and are nervous to try a class. The good news is that class structures are simple and easy to follow. You can expect a warm up, followed by instruction and movements that are led by your instructor, and finally a focus on breath work. Your instructor will provide individual guidance where needed, and each movement can be modified to make it easier if you find it too physically taxing. If you struggle with any particular area or want to go deeper into your practice, a one on one lesson can help answer specific questions.

If you live in the Salt Lake City area and are looking for a new and active way to relax and exercise? Come try a class or intensive retreat at Master Lu’s Health Center, the premier location for studying Tai Chi in the city.