Feeling Stressed, Inflexible or Less Strong Than You’d Like? Try This Form of Martial Arts

| 2 min read

martial arts
When you hear the phrase “martial arts,” you probably picture a scene from a Bruce Lee movie where he single-handedly deals with a room full of bad guys and comes out victorious. But there’s one form of martial arts that is actually quite peaceful and graceful: tai chi.
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese practice that can be thought of as meditating while moving. The series of movements are performed slowly with a lot of focus and deep breathing. It may seem like something so low-energy wouldn’t do much for your health, but there are actually a lot of benefits:
  1. Delays aging: A 2014 study shows tai chi improves a type of cell that’s important to how your body functions. Experts believe this may lengthen your lifespan and slow the aging process.
  1. Increases flexibility: Tai Chi moves stretch your major muscle groups and joints, so at the end of a session you will feel loose and flexible.
  1. Strengthens muscles: A Japanese study showed that people who did tai chi increased the strength in their legs by more than 30 percent and the strength of their arms by 25 percent. This was almost the same increase as a group in the study who did more traditional resistance training.
  1. Helps your body’s ability to recover: When added to modern medical treatments for different issues, tai chi can improve your quality of life and outcome. Researchers have seen this benefit in patients with arthritis, low bone density, heart disease, sleep disorders, some cancers and more.
  1. Improves blood pressure: Like yoga and other relaxation exercises, tai chi helps reduce stress and significantly lowers blood pressure.
Ready to give it a shot? Learn the basics of tai chi at one of these locations in Michigan:
For other fun workouts to try, check out these other posts:
This blog post is part of #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit https://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme.
Photo credit: Edwin Lee

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.