For Heart Rate, Tai Chi Comparable to Brisk Walk

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Mar 01, 2008

Mind-Body-Spirit News

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.

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at