Staying active during this time is very important for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Physical activity, like Tai chi, increases your stamina and improves your strength, flexibility, or balance.
Tai chi is a gentle, mind-body exercise combining slow-flowing intentional movements with breathing, awareness and visualization. Rooted in the Asian traditions of martial arts, Chinese medicine and philosophy, Tai chi enhances relaxation, vitality, focus, posture, balance, strength, flexibility, and mood.
Tai chi, like all physical activity, uses your energy to move the large muscles in your body. In general, physical activity can lower the risk of depression, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, colon cancer, and breast cancer. It may also help you feel like you have more energy, stamina, and endurance.
Moving your body in these ways can improve your ability to do more of the things you want or need to do. Even a few extra minutes of activity each day has potential benefits for improving your health. Best of all, Tai chi can be done in a small space without any additional equipment, and movements could even be done from a chair.
An important consideration for any exercise or physical activity program is how one listens to his or her body. One way to develop this mindful awareness of the body is by engaging in complementary and integrative health (CIH) movement practices such as yoga and tai chi.
Join Tai Chi Instructor Cynthia Frusha from the Central Arkansas VA in this 10-minute and 37-second Tai Chi session.
Tai Chi is one of the complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches within the VA Whole Health System of care included in the Veteran’s medical benefits package when deemed clinically necessary by a Veteran’s care team.
For more information on staying Physically Active with help from the VHA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, visit: https://www.prevention.va.gov/Healthy_Living/Be_Physically_Active.asp
To find more information and tips on Moving Your Body through the Whole Health Components of Health and Well-Being, visit: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/circle-of-health/moving-body.asp
For information on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Alison M. Whitehead, MPH is the Acting Director for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center in the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.