Practicing tai chi helps older adults maintain their balance when their eyes are closed, according to a small study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2010; 91 , 9–14). Researchers from university…
Would you like to practice a simple style of exercise that is reputed to strengthen your immune system, prolong your life span, increase your energy, uplift your spirit, vitalize your sexual functioning, enhance your general health, relax your body and calm your mind? For thousands of years, millions of Chinese have highly valued qi (or chi, pronounced chee), which can be activated through the practice of qigong.
A regular tai chi exercise program can help people better control their diabetes and lower glucose levels, according to a University of Florida study.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, ranking above cancer and stroke. Additionally, hypertension, commonly referred to as “high blood pressure,” is the 13th leading cause of death in the U.S. (Kung et al. 2008). It is therefore important for all health and fitness professionals to be informed about the methods available to help support cardiovascular health.
Recently, as co-chair of a medical conference on the metabolic syndrome and dyslipidemia, I seized the chance to slip a short discussion of yoga-based lifestyle research into a long day of clinical trial expositions that mostly focused on lipid-lowering drug studies. I felt somewhat meek describing a number of relatively small studies, all done on small budgets, while most clinical trials being discussed were 50- to 200-million-dollar studies sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry or the National Institutes of Health [NIH].
Imagine a free, natural medicine that is as healthy for you as pristine mountain air and organic food. Further imagine that this medicine is reputed to strengthen your immune system, prolong your life span, increase…
Tai chi exercises can improve the control of type 2 diabetes, suggests a small study, published ahead of print in theBritish Journal of Sports Medicine. The research team assessed the impact of a 12-week tai chi program on the T helper cell activity of 30 patients with type 2 diabetes and 30 healthy people of the same age.
It is something of a modern paradox: Although kids today seem wiser to the ways of the world, their bodies are more unhealthy and deconditioned than ever. There are many demands on children’s attention these days; but, unfortunately, very few of these involve healthy levels of interactive play or connection to nature.
Studies have shown that a discipline of consistent meditation improves immune system response. Now, new research suggests that tai chi and qigong practice may offer similar immunity-enhancing characteristics
Fusion classes typically combine two or
more formats, equipment choices and
training methods. Sometimes these cross-
training opportunities can yield more benefits
than practicing a single discipline. This
sample class draws from the influences of
yoga, Pilates, tai chi and the Feldenkrais
Method®. Feel free to replicate the class exactly,
or use it to stimulate your creative
When you think of using the pool for fitness, you probably imagine swimmers doing laps. Although swimming is a fantastic workout, it's time to rethink the pool as another frontier of fitness, a liquid athletic training ground, if you will.So say goodbye to aqua aerobics, and make way for a new generation of water-based classes.This summer, instructors across the country have been exp…
While there are numerous tai chi styles, only one is designed exclusively for women. Mulan quan (or chuan) is a modern form of tai chi created for women by a female tai
chi master, Sifu Mei Fing Ying. Literally translated, mulan quan means “wooden orchid fist”; the style, however, is named after Hua Mulan, a brave young woman who took her aging father’s place in…
Have you heard of qigong (pronounced chee kung)? This gentle Chinese practice dating back several thousand years is finding its way into mainstream American culture. If you are busy, qigong is perfect for you since it requires no apparatus, props or special clothing and can be performed within the space of an office cubicle. What’s more, the exercises can be done sitting, sta…
In an era in which Americans are primarily concerned with losing weight and gaining muscle mass, it is no wonder that the slow-moving martial art of tai chi has been a bit of a hard sell.
Many older adults contend not only with ailing physical health but also with depression, which lowers self-esteem and can wreak havoc with quality of life. Leading medical professionals, hoping to reduce costs and lower the risk of adverse side effects, are interested in alternatives to mainstream treatments, such as psychotherapy and prescription drugs. A new study suggests that qigong p…
Mind-body fitness is rapidly becoming a valuable and profitable service for fitness professionals to offer clients in clubs, gyms and private settings. While yoga and Pilates are hot favorites, the gentle art of qigong (pronounced chee kung)—a Chinese practice dating back several thousand years—is also finding its way into mainstream American culture. As consumers discover…
When older adults lose muscle tone and their balance starts to deteriorate, a simple mishap like tripping over a rug or losing their footing as they go to the bathroom during the night can turn into a tragedy. Among Americans who break a hip when they are 50 or older—about 300,000 people per year—24% die within 12 months, according to the National Osteoporosis Founda…
The rise of tai chi in America.
As you “retool” and re-educate yourself to prepare for new career opportunities and challenges in the 21st century, you may decide to focus on fitness for older adults.
The mind-body benefits that result from consistent practice of tai chi continue to impress researchers. Older adults who did tai chi only three times a week experienced significant improvement in balance, lower-body strength and stance stability. In addition, subjects reported better quality of sleep, concentration, memory and self-esteem, as well as higher overall energy levels, accordin…