Tai Chi: Reduce Stress, Build Strength, Improve Balance
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If the gym or high-intensity exercise isn’t your thing, you might want to consider Tai Chi.

Originally developed around a thousand years ago as a type of Chinese martial arts, Tai Chi has morphed into a gentle body meditation that focuses on breathing and cultivating qi, an energy force internalized inside the body that many believe needs to move and flow to allow us to stay balanced and healthy.

Even though many of the movements in Tai Chi are slow (allowing anyone from children to the elderly to practice it), your body is always in constant motion, and balance is a huge factor. As a result, people who are just beginning their fitness journey may find it an easy routine to do on a daily basis.

Tai Chi is low impact and can improve health.

Numerous studies have shown that it can improve muscle strength, flexibility and balance. It even has medical benefits, aiding those with breast cancer, heart disease and arthritis.

Having trouble sleeping? A regular Tai Chi routine can help with that too.

In a University of California, Los Angeles, study of 112 healthy older adults with moderate sleep complaints, 16 weeks of tai chi improved the quality and duration of sleep significantly more than standard sleep education. The study was published in the July 2008 issue of the journal Sleep.

Classes can be found in at the local YMCA, many gyms and community health centers.

Tai Chi classes are held regularly at community centers, YMCAs, gyms and in stand alone studios. There are also many great videos for beginners available on YouTube.

If you know you need to include more exercise in your life but aren’t sure where to start, this ancient Chinese mediation on movement and balance might be an excellent way to improve both your physical body and your mind!


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