Wednesday, September 29, 2010
There are no Downsides to Tai Chi
I started practicing Tai Chi over a year ago. I love the slow, graceful, ballet-like motions, and have found Tai Chi to be an excellent way to "wind down" prior to bed. So when I see articles like, I'm thrilled: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/health/28brody.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=tai%20chi%20downside&st=cse
Now, to be clear, Tai Chi is not something you do to burn mega amounts of calories. It's also not the most efficient way to tone muscle, although it does do that. However, I found that Tai Chi is excellent for restoring the joint mobility you lose as you age, and a joint strengthener as well. My chronic knee pain has pretty much disappeared since I started practicing Tai Chi, and all of the early morning joint soreness I was experiencing in my toes, ankles etc has disappeared as well.
Additionally, beacause Tai Chi is NOT a ultra sweat producing activity that you can do in just about any clothing (short skirts are probably the only thing that I wouldn't wear), I find myself practicing it all the time.
It's not unusual for me to take a ten minute Tai Chi break from work. I can get up from my computer, and run through part of a form, and get back to work, refreshed, without breaking a sweat.
So, in other words, Tai Chi gets me MOVING. And, as I've said before, learning to just move more, not necessarily "exercise" is probably the one of the most important things you can do on your weight loss journey.
For example, at 130 pounds I burn approximately 236 calories an hour practicing Tai Chi. If I practice just 10 minutes a day (and I usually practice at least that) that's over 4 pounds a year lost or not gained.