Celebrating World Tai Chi Day
We had the chance to take part of World Tai Chi Day here in South Jersey. It was great to see all the different styles of Tai Chi displayed.
Tai Chi practice helps develop muscle strength, flexibility and balance. Depending on the style of Tai Chi you are doing, it could also incorporate aerobic conditioning.
It takes many years to master Tai Chi. Many masters report that after doing their Tai Chi form for 40 years that they are still improving their form.
Here Are The Highlights From World Tai Chi Day:
T’ai chi ch’uan was originally taught as a martial art and longevity exercise. In the early 20th century the health benefits were discovered and it took on a new persona as a preventive medicine or wellness exercise. It was later promoted by the Chinese Government to keep the citizens healthy. The martial art aspects then took a back stage to it being a health exercise in China.
Consumer Reports (CR, Feb 2000, p 45) calls t’ai-chi the “Ultimate low-impact exercise”, an exercise that can be done by any one who can walk, the only caveat being people with knee problems may have problems doing it. CR claims t’ai-chi can improve cardiovascular endurance as well as improve posture, strength and balance. CR sites a 1992 Australian study that found it had the same effect as brisk walking on heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones. Scientific studies have found that it can lower blood pressure, improve balance, improve circulation and make seniors feel empowered.
According to Dr Robert Whipple, a gait and balance expert, “T’ai-chi has come up with the best possible biomechanical scenarios for keeping a person stable – to maximize your standing base by widening your stance, and to keep your head and torso as vertical as possible.” (CR, Feb 2000) The methods showing the best results have the feet in a wide stance position, with the back and head held straight upwards. As the t’ai-chi classics stay the head is held, “As if suspended from above.” There should be no leaning over, forward, back or to the side. Read More
Here’s the Enter Shaolin crew hanging out at World Tai Chi Day at Virtua Fitness Center.
We say Tai Chi is good for the Mind, Body and Spirit. Practice it where and when ever you can.
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