Tai chi practice may be a comparable conditioning alternative for adults who cannot tolerate the stresses of a brisk walk. Scientists found that heart rate variability was approximately the same for people who walked on a treadmill and for those who performed six-posture tai chi, according to a small study presented at the American Academy of Family Physicians 2007 Annual Scientific Assembly in October.
Researchers at Catholic
University of Korea studied 24 healthy subjects ages 24–35 years old.
Participants either walked on a treadmill at a 6-kilometer-per-hour pace or
practiced six-posture tai chi for 20 minutes with a 5-minute rest.
Investigators recorded mean heart rate data for all subjects. Heart rate was
only slightly higher in walkers than it was in tai chi practitioners.