Tai Chi was created in China several hundred years ago as a martial art, a means to defend oneself. But it quickly transferred into a practice designed to improve the body's health and Chi energy.
Tai Chi is simply a sequence of movements that can be done either slowly or quickly depending on the style you choose. It has been described as “meditation in movement” meaning its a great way to focus the mind.
In the United States it is primarily used by people who want to improve their health in some way.
Just some of the benefits of Tai Chi include:
1. Reduced stiffness and pain in joints
People who have arthritis often can experience a reduction in pain and an increase in mobility. One popular program is Paul Lam's Tai Chi for Arthritis program.
2. Improved coordination and balance
Not only seniors, but people of all ages can greatly improve their coordination and balance through regular practice. This can reduce the risk of falls, which is a common source of injury in seniors.
3. Improved strength and flexibility
People who practice this art can also experience increase strength especially in their legs and core muscles. Flexibility is also another benefit as certain movements are designed to increase your range of motion.
4. Increased focus and concentration
When its practice is done slowly, it is a great way to improve your ability to focus and concentrate on what you are doing in the moment. It's a great way to quiet the mind after a busy day and get rid of anxiety.
5. Improved sleep
Another great benefit is increased sleep. This is most likely a byproduct of getting a good workout and getting rid of stress and anxiety. Daily practice first thing in the morning and right before bed can be a great way to bookend your days.
6. Improved lung capacity
One of Tai Chi's main focus is using your breath to pace your movements. Regular practice can help to increase your lung capacity as you do longer forms.
As you can see there are many benefits to Tai Chi no matter what style you choose to do. The most important thing is to get started practicing and to keep at it for maximum results. Most experts recommend you practice daily in the mornings for maximum benefit, but no matter what time of day you choose to practice, you will receive great benefit from practice.