Tai Chi, a gentle form of martial art, often described as “meditation in motion” is one of the best and safest forms of exercise. It provides a way for anybody of any age to exercise and remain healthy even through disabilities or health problems.
Many practitioners of Tai Chi have shown a variety of health benefits both physical and mental. Tai Chi’s slow deliberate movements emphasize relaxation and breathing while keeping your body in constant motion.
Physical benefits include increases in:
While mental health benefits include a reduction in:
The benefits don’t stop there, it can help with high blood pressure, improve mood, and increase your reflexes which can reduce the risk of falling in older adults.
Although Tai Chi is an amazing way to remain healthy in mind and body it is not without some disadvantages. Join me as we go through some of the disadvantages of Tai Chi so you can better decide if they are enough to dissuade you from practicing this gentle martial art.
Mastering Tai Chi
It’s difficult to learn Tai Chi on your own, there are online tutorials that can guide you in your journey but having a teacher and other students to practice with will result in faster learning. If there are any poses you may have a hard time with, having other students motivate you is great for learning Tai Chi. A teacher can also help you adjust poses and positions to best suit your limits and make practicing Tai Chi more enjoyable.
Tai Chi takes time to master, like many exercises and hobbies tai chi need practice to make perfect. You will not be perfect on your first try, and that’s fine many people have a hard time mastering Tai Chi. However it’s not necessary to master Tai Chi in order to receive its benefits.
Discipline, for as Little as 10 Minutes a Day, Can Develop Muscle Memory
Practicing Tai Chi for as little as 10 minutes per day can develop the muscle memory needed to learn the Tai Chi poses. Which is enough to gain its health benefits. Though in order to learn properly you may need to make time for a few classes per month. While some may struggle with making it to some classes, others may struggle to practice at home because they have nobody around them. For all the benefits Tai Chi has, one still needs to put in the time even if it’s just the aforementioned 10 minutes per day.
Don’t forget to take breaks, practicing Tai Chi can be addicting. You need to gradually build up the length of your practice sessions, and their frequency. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes for most days. For the beginner, consider practicing for as long as you can comfortably walk at a steady pace. If you can only do 5 minutes at a time, that’s ok, take breaks when necessary. Tai Chi is not a sprint, you can rest and do another 5 minutes, take your time.
Tai Chi Is Still an Exercise, It Just Happens to be Low Impact
Tai Chi is still an exercise, which can leave some first time practitioners unexpectedly tired. In the beginning Tai Chi can leave some people sore. But as your body becomes accustomed to the movement and poses, this won’t be an issue. Practicing with a teacher can minimize any unwanted strenuous movement as they can guide you through the poses and adjust according to your mobility.
If you feel like Tai Chi is something you want to practice, feel free to join us at Heartwell Park in Long Beach CA on Sundays from 9:30am to 10:30am, we practice near the duck pond.
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