Tai Chi is as effective as running outside to reduce waistline

A new study suggests that practicing meditative, rhythmic tai chi works just as well as cardio exercise and electricity training for accomplishing a few health benefits, such as decreasing waist size and improving cholesterol.

According to a randomized controlled trial published on May 31 in the Annals of internal medicine, people who have a difficult time with some cardio exercises may also benefit from tai chi.

“It’s a wonderful examine,” says Bavani Nadeswaran, MD, of the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute at the university of California Irvine, who is no longer involved in the review.

Many people with arthritis or lower back pain have difficulty exercising aerobically. Tai chi and yoga are low-impact sports, meaning that folks who are unable to run or access a pool have a viable alternative.

In this study, almost 550 adults who were 50 and over in Hong Kong were randomly assigned to participate in Tai Chi, aerobic exercise with power training, or no exercise program for 12 weeks. All had waistlines greater than 35.4 inches for men and 31.5 inches for women.

Tai chi involves three 1-hour weekly sessions of exercise, led by an instructor. Three times per week, participants in the cardio exercise center exercised brisk tai chi and strength training under the direction of a teacher.

In about nine months, the researchers measured changes in waistline size, cholesterol levels, and weight. People who didn’t exercise had little variation in their waistlines. Compared with the institution that did not exercise, the average waistline of people in the two exercise groups decreased by 0.7 inches with Tai Chi and 0.50 inches with brisk walking and electricity training.

The exercise groups also experienced greater drops in body weight and triglyceride levels (a type of fat found within the blood), as well as larger increases in HDL cholesterol, or “true” cholesterol, when compared to the no-exercise group. Taiji lasted approximately 9 months for all of these upgrades. Despite this, the improvements in cholesterol levels did not last as long in the group that took brisk walks.

They also compared the results on blood pressure and blood sugar, but found no differences between the groups.

The findings shouldn’t necessarily mean that individuals with greater waistlines should abandon their modern workout plans and switch to tai chi, explains researcher Parco Siu, PhD, head of the division of Kinesiology at the College of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong. They show that tai chi is a great choice for those who prefer it.

“This is good news for center-elderly and older adults who may be resistant to conventional workouts,” he wrote in an email. Yet, “it’s no problem at all for human beings to keep taking part in traditional exercise.”

Tai chi could also be a high-quality selection for people with slim waistlines since practicing it is in keeping with the guidelines of the world health company regarding physical exercise, says Siu, even though the examine did not address this query.

As Siu and the other researchers are aware, the observe has a number of limitations, like the fact that the individuals who took part in it were all in China, so how it should have an effect on people in other parts of the world is unclear. As well as that, nearly one third of individuals who began the take a look at dropped out before it ended, and they had a higher body weight than those who remained. The authors argue that this high dropout rate means that some people had negative experiences during their workout programs.

According to Siu, the next step will be to evaluate how tai chi affects blood sugar and blood stress. Other early-stage studies have also shown that tai chi has positive results on mood and cognition, he adds, indicating a need for more research.

Nadeswaran, from UC Irvine, holds the same opinion. This research opens the door, she says, to studying how practice of tai chi might affect a person’s risk of death from heart disease or any other reason for dying. In her group’s work, we examine tai chi’s effects on a number of situations, including metabolic syndrome and the aftermath of COVID-19.

There are many ways to practice tai chi while researchers pursue these questions. Siu mentions that community centers and fitness clubs offer classes on this “meditation in movement” exercise. People who can’t yet rejoin activities in the real world can also access virtual tai chi instruction, Nadeswaran says.