August 21, 2018

The Health Benefits of Tai Chi

Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre is now offering Tai Chi classes. An exercise that originated in ancient China and is still practised by many people across the globe today. Not surprisingly, as Tai Chi offers many health benefits, some of which may surprise you!

What Exactly is Tai Chi?

Tai chi, or as it directly translates to, “moving meditation,” is a slow, graceful, and relaxed series of movements that combines aerobics, flexibility, balance, and weight-bearing exercise with deep breathing and meditation.

Tai Chi is a useful sport to exercise both your mind and body. It’s a practice with great depth of knowledge and skill behind it. However, it’s relatively easy to learn, and you’ll see the benefits straight away. There are many different strain of Tai Chi which all incorporate unique features. However, there are universal principles of Tai Chi which include, the mind integrated with the body; the fluidity of movement; control of breathing; and mental concentration. The central purpose is to enable the “qi” or life force to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body. Those that practice Tai Chi believe that you can achieve total harmony of the inner and outer self from regular exercise.

Increase Flexibility in Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons

All the Tai Chi movements are incorporated to enhance balance, agility, coordination, and flexibility. As you continue to learn and develop your skills in Tai Chi, you will notice yourself becoming more and more flexible.

Better Heart and Respiratory Health

Tai chi is an aerobic form of exercise, which means your heart works harder and increases the flow of oxygen in your blood. Aerobic exercise has been shown to benefit your heart and may lower your cholesterol. Tai chi breathing exercises increase your lung capacity and improve circulation of oxygen.

Improved Muscle Strength

Although you might not associate Tai Chi with ripped abs, the continued practice of Tai Chi has shown the positive effects it can have on muscle strength and definition. Further, the exercise can improve core strength, as the core area of the body will play a significant role in supporting the various movements.

Overall Wellbeing

Many regular participants of Tai Chi report Increased levels of energy, stamina and agility. And further research has suggested that the practice can help with digestion and boosting immune systems, and may even lead to better sleep. The benefits are endless!

Increased levels of Mental Health

Research shows that meditative aspects of Tai Chi can help relieve stress, improve concentration, lower blood pressure and reduce your heart rate. Particularly the practice of controlled breathing that Tai Chi incorporates, helps lessen the effects of stress and can teach you lifelong strategies for maintaining calm.

So, now that we’ve convinced you of all the incredible health benefits of Tai Chi head on down to Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre and experience it for yourself. We are running classes every 12 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. Click here to sign up.