Tai chi offers similar benefits as conventional exercise

Tai chi improves balance and coordination in older adults. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on June 1, 2021, revealed that this ancient mind-body exercise offers many of the same benefits as traditional exercise.

Researchers randomly divided 543 overweight people aged 50 or older into three groups. One group did tai-chi, the other did a combination of aerobic and strength training, and the third didn’t exercise.

Yang style is a common form of tai-chi that involves slow, circular movements. Exercisers performed brisk walking and strength training workouts such as arm raises and curls, shoulder presses, squats, and heel lifts. Both groups completed three one-hour sessions per week for 12 weeks.

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Both the tai-chi and exercise groups showed similar results in terms of waist size, weight, and cholesterol levels.

Researchers noted that although it’s unclear how tai-chi can help, the gentle, flowing movements are ideal for those who struggle to stay active. They may also encourage them to stick with regular exercise.