Tai Chi & Arthritis
TOP 10 REASONS WHY PEOPLE WITH ARTHRITIS SHOULD DO TAI CHI
1. Flexibility training helps improve range of motion and reduces stiffness in affected joints, particularly the early
morning stiffness often associated with arthritis.
2. Cardiovascular exercise, especially a low impact exercise like Tai Chi or even walking, not only improves overall
fitness, but also helps reduce the psychological and emotional pain that often accompanies arthritis.
3. Tai Chi strengthens muscles and improves mobility, which makes it easier to perform activities of daily living.
The easier these activities are, the more active one is likely to be overall.
4. Weight bearing exercise such as Tai Chi, positively affects bone mass, helping to reduce the risk of developing
osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease that is often seen in people with arthritis due to reduced activity.
5. Arthritis can negatively affect posture, balance and coordination, all of which may be improved with a regular Tai
Chi exercise program.
6. Excess weight places additional strain on the joints, so maintaining a healthy weight is important for those with
arthritis. Along with a sensible diet, Tai Chi can aid in weight management.
7. Tai Chi has been proven to help manage stress, which can take it's toll on the whole body, including the joints.
8. Because it is a chronic, degenerative disease, arthritis can often cause people to become depressed and
develop a poor self image. People who exercise, however, tend to feel better about themselves, have less
depression and possess a more positive outlook.
9. Painful joints can make getting a good night's sleep difficult, if not impossible. A regular Tai Chi exercise
program has been shown to improve sleep patterns and may help alleviate this problem.
10. Because arthritis often leads to a more sedentary lifestyle, individuals with this disease often increase their risk
of developing other deadly diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes. Staying active and exercising regularly
helps offset the effects of arthritis and lessens the risk of developing some other lifestyle-related diseases.
A little Tai Chi everyday goes a long way!
Guidelines: After getting the go ahead from your doctor start with 10-20 minutes of Tai Chi exercises that
strengthen, stretch and work range of motion. Add 15-60 minutes of Tai Chi movements (or other low impact
aerobic exercise) 3 times a week. Start out slowly and gradually increase intensity or repetitions over time, but
never exercise to the point of pain. Adapt the techniques to fit your situation to achieve your goals of more
mobility, less pain and a happier life!