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Tags: tai | chi | heart | health

Chinese Exercise Good for Heart, Mind

Monday, 09 April 2012 11:37 AM EDT

The ancient Chinese secret is out: New research shows seniors do their hearts and minds a world of good when they practice the traditional exercise Tai Chi.
The study, published the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found the practice improved a key condition linked to healthy heart function and muscle strength in people who spend a least 90 minutes a week engaging in the dance-like meditative exercise.
Researchers from Hong Kong Polytechnic University tracked the health of 65 elderly people -- 29 of whom had practiced Tai Chi for at three years, and 36 with no experience with it. They found Tai Chi practitioners had better knee muscle strength and less “arterial stiffness” – when an artery fails to flex in response to blood pressure changes, a condition closely associated with heart disease.
Past studies have linked Tai Chi to improved heart function, lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart attack.
"This is the first study to investigate the possible effects of Tai Chi on arterial [stiffness] by comparing older Tai Chi practitioners with non-practitioners similar in age and activity level," said lead researcher Dr. William Tsang. “The improvement in arterial compliance could have resulted from a combination of aerobic training, stretching, mental concentration and calm meditation during Tai Chi movement."

© HealthDay

Seniors do their hearts and minds a world of good when they practice Tai Chi.
Monday, 09 April 2012 11:37 AM
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