Health Library

Categories > Exercise and Fitness > Tai chi

Tense? Try tai chi

Just watching people glide through the poses as they do tai chi can be relaxing. Tai chi, used for over 2,000 years in China, is a great form of gentle exercise. If you practice regularly, you can enjoy many health benefits.

Tai chi is a self-paced, low-impact exercise made up of postures and movements. It’s performed slowly, allowing each movement to flow into the next without stopping. Most people can practice tai chi—alone or in a group—because its poses focus on technique, not strength.

Tai chi can lead you into a meditative state and can also:

  • reduce stress and blood pressure
  • increase flexibility, muscle strength and definition
  • boost energy, stamina and agility
  • improve balance, coordination and cardiovascular fitness
  • relieve chronic pain
  • increase calmness and sleep quality

Want to get started? A trained tai chi instructor can teach you the right way to practice. Check your local community education center for classes near you.