There are various ways to enhance your fitness level. While some individuals prefer to hit the gym and lift weights, others prefer a gentler approach. In such cases, Tai chi is an excellent option. It’s a form of martial arts that teaches self-defense while improving your health and fitness. If you’re a beginner, our Tai Chi for Beginners guide can provide the necessary information to incorporate this practice into your daily routine.

Overview of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a form of martial arts with a long history dating back to ancient China. These exercises generally involve slow movements. Over the years, Tai Chi has evolved, and different forms of this exercise have been created.

While some people practice Tai Chi for professional reasons, particularly to participate in demonstration sports events, exercise has become a great option for people who simply want to focus on their fitness and health at home.

Tai Chi Over the Years

While it’s known that Tai Chi stems from ancient times, there are often different opinions regarding how this practice came into existence. Some believe that it was created by Zhang Shanfeng, a legend in Chinese history who was said to have possessed incredible internal power as a Taoist priest.

Others track Tai Chi back to a person named Chen Wangting[1], who started to teach martial arts when he retired from the Royal Guard of the Chen Village in Wenxian County in the 16th century.

This resulted in the creation of Chen-style Tai Chi, which still exists today, evolving over time.

Author Chen Xin's book on Tai Chi, published in 1932, marked the first time Chen-style Tai Chi was taught outside of Chen Village.

What Benefits Can Tai Chi Offer?

Understanding the benefits of Tai Chi can give you a better idea of what you can expect from these exercises. Let’s look at the main benefits you can enjoy with regular Tai Chi sessions.

  • Fall reduction: Tai Chi is great for improving balance, and, in turn, this can reduce your risk of falling. It also means you lower your risk of experiencing fractures and other risks usually associated with falls, especially in the elderly.

  • Chronic pain: Researchers have found that regularly participating in Tai Chi can help to reduce chronic back pain[2], as well as pain in your joints.

  • Chronic heart failure: These exercises help with your cardiovascular fitness, which can also improve heart health. This could result in potential relief from heart failure symptoms.

  • Mental health and cognitive function: The practice of Tai Chi can improve both physical and mental health, including memory and concentration.

  • Better sleep: The slow movements you perform in Tai Chi are great for unwinding and calming your mind. When your mind is calm, you’ll notice that your sleep improves.

  • Promotes weight loss: While Tai Chi is not a high-intensity exercise, it can still contribute to your weight loss goals. The continuous movement throughout the session helps you burn calories.

  • Improves fibromyalgia symptoms: The slow but continuous movements that you perform in Tai Chi also help reduce the pain sensation[3] that many people experience when they have fibromyalgia.

  • Improves COPD symptoms: Tai Chi is a form of physical exercise. Apart from improving heart health, it can also help strengthen your lungs and possibly reduce common symptoms of COPD.

  • Improves balance and strength in people with Parkinson’s: If you have Parkinson’s, you may notice poor balance and a loss of physical strength. The movements you perform in Tai Chi help you build back your strength and improve balance.

  • Reduces pain from arthritis: Tai Chi is a low-intensity exercise that won’t put extra pressure on your joints. However, it’s still effective in improving blood circulation and reducing pain, including painful symptoms associated with arthritis. There are the supplements such as Flexoplex - Advanced Bone & Joint Support that can act as a solution to joint pain.


Getting Started With Tai Chi

Now that you understand what Tai Chi is and have a better overview of the benefits, it’s time to consider how you can start practicing these exercises yourself.

It’s really important to start with Tai Chi exercises for beginners. You have to take it slow at the beginning, as this helps to ensure you don’t overdo things and end up hurting yourself.

You’ll have to choose which style of Tai Chi you want to do. If you’re not sure, consider beginning with the classic Chen style. It’s easy to get information about the style, including videos that show you some great beginner moves.

The best time to exercise using Tai Chi is usually in the mornings. This helps you get ready for the day.

You can even combine your new Tai Chi workouts with a good supplement, which contains important nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and maintain a strong immune system.

Tai Chi moves can also be good for people who want to unwind later in the day and sleep better at night.

If you have a difficult time falling asleep and staying calm, even after your Tai Chi session, consider taking Somulin – Nighttime Complex.

Are There Risks to Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is considered a safe exercise that’s great for everyone. There are even programs that specifically focus on Tai Chi for seniors, which are gentle and don’t cause injury.

In one review paper[4], researchers looked at reports from 24 different clinical studies and found no serious side effects or risk factors that could be linked to practicing Tai Chi.

Most Common Tai Chi Styles

Not all Tai Chi workouts are the same. That’s because, over the years, many families in China have created their own variations, often called styles[5], of Tai Chi.

The Chen-style Tai Chi remains one of the most popular. It’s also considered the oldest form of Tai Chi. However, there are others as well, including:

  • Yang style: Yang Lu-ch’an developed a variation of the original Chen-style Tai Chi that focused on making it less athletic. It focuses on big movements and helps with flexibility.

  • Wu style: This style was adopted from the Yang style by Wu Ch’uan-yu. Wu was trained by Yang Lu-ch’an. There’s a large focus on extending the body in the Wu style.

  • Sun style: This style combines Tai Chi with elements of other internal martial arts practices, including Baguazhang and Xingyquan.

  • Hao style: This style isn’t as popular as the others and mainly involves internal qi.

Tai Chi vs Yoga: What’s the Difference

There are some similarities that you may notice between yoga and Tai Chi. For example, you may notice several flexibility yoga poses, whereas Tai Chi can also be good for flexibility. However, it’s important to understand the difference between these two practices.

Yoga focuses primarily on poses. You’ll generally enter a pose and then hold the position for a couple of seconds. Some options, such as bedtime yoga for healthy sleep, may suggest holding a pose for more than a minute before you transition to the next pose that’s part of your routine.

Tai Chi also focuses on slow movements, but there’s continuous movement instead of entering a pose and then holding your position. You may perform one Tai Chi move and flow into the next without holding your body still for a few seconds before progressing.

Tai Chi FAQs

What does Tai Chi do for your body?

Regularly doing Tai Chi can help improve your body’s strength and flexibility. It’s also good for your cardiovascular fitness and can help reduce pain, especially in people who have issues with their joints.

Which is better yoga or Tai Chi?

One isn’t necessarily better than the other. Instead, you have to take a more personalized approach to this question. Yoga offers a dynamic workout, while Tai Chi is great for anyone who prefers a gentle exercise that helps improve balance and joint problems.

Is it OK to do Tai Chi every day?

Yes, it’s generally considered safe when used as a daily exercise. Remember that Tai Chi isn’t intensive on the body, so you don’t need “skip days” to help your body recover.

How many years does it take to learn Tai Chi?

Most people should be able to get a good grasp on how tai chi works within about a year. It may, however, take a couple of years before you truly master this exercise technique.

At what age can you start Tai Chi?

There isn’t an age restriction for Tai Chi. Anyone can start to learn Tai Chi, regardless of their age. Apart from the average adult, it can be a great exercise for teenagers and seniors as well.

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Tai Chi is gentle on your body but still a great way to work on flexibility and fitness. It’s good for people who struggle with poor posture, and joint pain, and those who simply want to work on their cardiovascular fitness. The benefits of Tai Chi exercises also extend to your mind, as the workout improves your mood and helps with cognitive function.



Dr. Ahmed Zayad

Dr. Ahmed Zayad

Dr. Zayed, has years of experience in the field and has been contributing to public health awareness. Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. Egypt. Dr. Zayed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. His articles were featured on many websites like HuffingtonPost, Chicagotribune . Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Zayed spends his time outside the hospital, either reading or at the gym.

Written by Dr. Ahmed Zayad

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