I am a big believer in the benefits of Tai Chi. I practice it everyday (that’s me in the photo last week in San Diego) and I encourage my clients to try it. When I run my MelioGuide Level I course for Physiotherapists across Canada and the United States on treating and preventing osteoporosis, I always include a section on Tai Chi.
Even though it is a low impact activity, it is an excellent form of exercise. A study published in Age and Aging showed that regular Tai Chi practice had a greater impact on lower body strength, balance and flexibility in elderly women than did brisk walking.
Studies have shown that people who practice Tai Chi regularly have less bone mineral density (BMD) loss at the hips, have higher BMD than age-matched sedentary control groups. Tai Chi practice leads to reduced fall frequency, increased strength, improved balance, improved body awareness and coordination, and enhanced mental clarity and concentration. Research has also demonstrated that Tai Chi has the same cardio-vascular benefit as brisk walking.
I have been practicing Tai Chi for a number of years. I started with learning the Basic 24 Step Tai Chi Form and have progressed to Tai Chi Fan. I was introduced to the art by an elderly Chinese man I met when I was living in Kanata. I was lucky to meet him and learn from someone with a lot of patience.
For those of you who are interested in learning Tai Chi, I suggest the Ottawa Taichi Chuan Association. They run classes and host various events. I attend their Saturday morning Tai Chi Fan class.
They just announced a new 10 week class on the 24 Tai Ch Form. The class starts on January 9th, 2010. I have attached the course brochure. I have not taken this course but I encourage you to check it out and see if it is for you.
Stay tuned for more postings on Tai Chi. I plan to have more material for you in the near future.
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