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Kung Fu or Tai Chi Training for Metabolic Health in Overweight/Obese Adolescents

Kung Fu or Tai Chi Training for Metabolic Health in Overweight/Obese Adolescents

A group of researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia recently finished a 6-month program that used Kung Fu or Tai Chi to train some overweight or obese adolescents to improve their metabolic health.

In this program, 20 overweight/obese adolescents underwent either Kung Fu or Tai Chi training, for 3 times a week every week during the 6-month period.

The researchers measured the subjects' fasting insulin and insulin resistance, lipids, glucose and HbA(1c), and C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP decreased significantly in both groups over time at six months. Although insulin sensitivity did not change, HbA(1c) tended to decrease over time, again with no group difference. Reduced CRP was related to increased upper body strength. Increased lean body mass was related to reductions in HbA(1c), insulin resistance, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. Improvements in lean body mass appear to have a potential role in favorable metabolic outcomes, independent of changes in fat mass.

The researchers suggested that further research in this area is warranted before definite conclusions can be drawn about the efficacy of martial arts training for metabolic outcomes in this cohort.


 
 

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