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Tai Chi and Qigong for Fitness

Tai Chi and Kung-Fu Maintain Physical Performance for Young versus Old Participants
March 21, 2016 -
Aging is associated with declines in health components such as physical fitness, vascular health, nutrition, and psychological wellness. A joint research by Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and Federal University of Parana in Brazil examined whether Tai Chi and Kung-Fu training would maintain those health components on older versus younger practitioners.

Seventeen subjects were recruited and divided into Young (age <40 years, n=9) and Old (age 40 years and above, n=8). Participants reported twice for health screens, vascular and nutrition assessment, and fitness tests. Mean differences were compared between groups for all tests using Student's t-tests.

The results show that age, months of practice, systolic blood pressure, and cardiovascular augmentation index were significantly greater in Old versus Young. Psychologically, old practitioners experienced greater sleep interference and overall pain. No other differences existed for any variable.

This study indicates that the practice of Tai Chi and Kung-Fu maintains physical fitness in older compared to younger practitioners. However, age associated changes in cardiovascular stiffness, systolic blood pressure, and pain were not prevented.

The study is published by the Physician and Sports Medicine in its March, 2016 issue.


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