I recently spotted the attached poster for Tai Chi classes in Tarvin....and it has prompted me to look up what it is all about!
What is tai chi?
Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements. Originally developed as a martial art in 13th-century China, tai chi is now practised around the world as a health-promoting exercise.
What are the health benefits of tai chi?
While there's scope for more rigorous research on tai chi's health benefits, studies have shown that it can help people aged 65 and over to reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs.
Can tai chi help to prevent falls?
Some research suggests tai chi can reduce the risk of falls among older adults who are at increased risk. However, more research is needed.
Can tai chi help with arthritis?
There is some evidence that tai chi can improve mobility in the ankles, hips and knees in people with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it is still not known if tai chi can reduce pain or improve the quality of life for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Is tai chi good for treating osteoporosis?
Studies have looked into the potential benefits of tai chi for people with osteoporosis, but there is currently no convincing evidence that tai chi can prevent or treat the condition.
Am I too old for tai chi?
No, tai chi is commonly performed as a low-impact exercise, which means it won't put much pressure on your bones and joints. Most people should be able to do it.
Is tai chi suitable for me?
Get advice from your GP before starting tai chi if you have any health concerns or an existing health condition. You may need to take certain precautions if you're pregnant, have a hernia, back pain or severe osteoporosis.
Don't I need to be fit to do tai chi?
No, tai chi is for everyone. It is ideal for inactive older people wanting to raise their activity levels gently and gradually. Also, many of the tai chi movements can be adapted to people with a disability, including wheelchair users.
Can I injure myself doing tai chi?
Tai chi is essentially a gentle activity that is unlikely to cause injury if done correctly. The exercises involve lots of flowing, easy movements that don't stress the joints or muscles.
Tips on getting started
It's a good idea to watch a class or attend a free taster session before signing up for a course. If you have a medical condition or any health concerns, or haven't exercised for a long time, speak to your GP before you start tai chi.