Is Tai Chi the Key To A Healthy Heart?

Is Tai Chi the Key To A Healthy Heart? | Premier Cardiology Consultants | Long Island QueensAs springtime progresses into full bloom, more of us are looking for ways to get outdoors more often, and to get into better shape. Perhaps there is no greater benefit to being physically fit than the general health one experiences. We all know that activity is important to a healthy heart. The problem is, if you are older or less physically-inclined, you may find it difficult to select forms of exercise that you find enjoyable enough to keep doing.

Any person with heart disease has heard from their doctor “you need to stay active.” Tai Chi may not seem to fit into this category, but it does. In fact, it fits into that category and beyond. Tai Chi is a type of martial arts. Because it is noncompetitive and involves no actual fighting, this point easily gets missed. This practice in mindfulness and stretching originated in China thousands of years ago and is now viewed as an advantageous form of exercise for individuals recovering from cardiac events, as well as patients with congestive heart failure.

Some of the reasons that Tai Chi is good for your heart to include:

  • Tai Chi is a gentle, safe aerobic exercise. Low-to-moderate in intensity, this activity provides about the same metabolic equivalents to a moderate walk. But there’s more . . .
  • The flow of movements in Tai Chi increase mindfulness, which improves psychological well-being through stress-reduction.
  • Tai Chi also involves diaphragmatic breathing, which takes the work off the heart for a short time. The nervous system is also alleviated of the burden of stress, while the mental focus is boosted and blood pressure lowered.
  • Gaining enjoyment and development from the light workout of Tai Chi, many patients become more confident and motivated to make healthy changes in other areas of their life, such as eating better or engaging in other forms of exercise in addition to their Tai Chi practice.

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Exercise need not involve the gym or even sweat dripping from all parts of the body. Yuck! Activities like Tai Chi are beneficial for people of all ages and are easy to find in senior centers and other facilities. Keep your heart healthy with physical activity that meets your preferences, and be sure to contact us at 516-437-5600 if you have questions about your heart health.

Posted in: Heart Health

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