You may be hesitant to try a whole new exercise regimen after age 50, but Tai chi is actually a perfect workout at any age. Sprinting, jumping and other high-impact exercises can strain your joints and bones, but you can get in the best shape of your life using low-impact exercises such as Tai chi. In fact, this ancient Chinese martial art is beneficial to your mind as well as your body.
If you’ve ever watched someone perform Tai chi smoothly, you may feel intimidated to try it. But I can assure you that it is easy to learn, since most of the movements are repetitive.
Let’s look into the health benefits of doing Tai chi regularly and check out a video featuring some great moves for the Tai chi beginner.
1. TAI CHI MAY PREVENT FALLS.
You have a higher risk of falls after 50, due to natural bone and muscle loss. Luckily, practicing Tai chi regularly can prevent falls since it improves balance and strengthens your legs.
A review of various studies shows that following Tai chi for less than a year can reduce fall incidences by 43 percent. This is very important, since falls are the main cause of broken hips and other fractures in people over 50.
2. TAI CHI MAY HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
It may seem impossible, but the slow and relaxing movements of tai chi can help you lose weight. An Australian study found that Tai chi aids weight loss by improving BMI, reducing belly fat, regulating blood sugar, and much more.
Even though you may be tempted to train for hours, stick to short workouts when starting Tai chi. Short workouts help build consistency. You may also want to add these small habits to your daily routine to lose weight faster.
3. TAI CHI WILL MAKE YOU STRONGER.
Staying strong after 50 will help you be self-reliant. According to Harvard health, Tai chi can make you stronger and give you the benefits of strength training when done consistently.
It is also worth noting that Tai chi is good for your joints. Healthy joints allow you to move better and lift things without pain.
4. TAI CHI MAY IMPROVE YOUR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH.
A study by the Journal of American Heart Association found that doing Tai chi for six months improved physical activity, weight, and quality of life in people with coronary heart disease.
Other studies show that the simple movements of Tai chi can lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, and lower high blood cholesterol.
5. TAI CHI WILL IMPROVE YOUR FLEXIBILITY.
Maintaining you flexibility after 50 helps you avoid joint and lower back pain. Tai chi is great for flexibility, since it stretches different muscles and improves blood circulation.
6. TAI CHI MAY RELIEVE STRESS.
You will love the mood-enhancing effects of tai chi, especially if you want to reduce stress. According to Mayo Clinic, Tai chi can reduce anxiety and depression, improve mood, reduce stress, and help you sleep better.
7. ANYONE CAN DO IT.
Whether you’ve experienced an injury, are living with a disability, or you are simply out of shape, Tai chi will be perfect for you. It works for everyone! If you are thinking it won’t work for you because you are in a wheelchair, try sitting tai chi.
Below is a beginner video to help you learn basic tai chi moves. You can use videos like this to get started, but it is important to also get some training from a qualified Tai chi instructor.