So you have passed a huge threshold, you have admitted to yourself that you need to lose weight. It’s a milestone in itself, because when one decides to lose weight it is not just a scale change, it’s a life change. Meals, activities, surroundings and in some cases even friends alter so you can become a healthier person. However, it’s been a while since you have hit the treadmill. Perhaps you have never run a long distance before and could not possibly take up an exercise class or afford a personal trainer. Many people across the globe are in this circular argument, I want to lose weight, but I cannot just “jump” into a rigorous exercise. Is there a routine more demanding then a walk to jump start my body back into shape?
Tai Chi is not only a perfect exercise to boost your metabolism back into stride, but a wonderful exercise to ease you into a practice commonly overlooked in getting into shape: PATIENCE. Many people who need to lose weight fail at their goals because of one reason, lack of patience. Whether it is the frustration of working out everyday, or spinning for an hour at the local spinning class, people drop out of their exercise regime because of the lack of patience in not obtaining often their unrealistic weight loss goals. Tai Chi not only wakes up your metabolism, but allows you to channel your energy into solely focusing the movement of your muscles.
Tai translates to “supreme ultimate fist” or just the “ultimate”. Chi refers to energy. Known as a martial art, Tai Chi is known for its slow movements and asks its students to focus only on the movements being made, the muscles bending and accepting new poses. By focusing on the training of body and mind, students soon connect this martial art into a method of self defense. Meditation is also a key point in Tai Chi, teaching its students to focus on the movements, therefore reliving stress and allowing the body to exercise. Lastly, a martial art is learned, keeping the body in an excellent physical condition. Tai Chi focuses on one’s centre of gravity, and exploring movements around these points.
The ying and yang play an important role in Tai chi. The ying focuses on soft, low impact movements, mixed with the yang, fast high impact movements. These combined forces open up a range for blood circulation, an ample tool to lose weight and become overall healthier. Gravity is everything in Tai Chi and achieving an optimum centre of balance. For those fixated on a trimmer figure, some aspects of Tai Chi can burn as many calories as downhill skiing while only doing relaxing movements. How is that for a work out plan?
If you are elderly, Tai Chi is an excellent low impact workout to keep fit. Excellent for a cardio vascular workout, tai chi’s low gentle workout is perfect for those who have slowed down and are looking to get fit, or just to get some muscles moving again.
In a world of spinning classes, aerobics lessons and high impact workouts, tai chi is great for the rest of the world, looking to stay in shape but stay connected to the mind, body and spirit. Speak to your physician if tai chi is right for you, its gentle work out may just be the awakening you need.