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Tai Chi (Online Only)
September 2010
By Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN

Q: Does Tai Chi count as a form of moderate exercise that reduces risk of chronic diseases?

A: Depending on how it is used, Tai Chi apparently can decrease risk of some long-term health problems while posing very little chance of harm.  Tai Chi is one form of what is called “meditative movement,” including a three-part focus on the body (posture and movement), breath and mind (meditation).  Both Tai Chi, and a similar form called Qigong (pronounced chee-gung) include slow, flowing, dance-like motions and may also include sitting or standing meditation postures and gentle or vigorous body shaking. Some forms do fall in the category of moderate intensity exercise.  A recent review of 67 separate randomized controlled trials of Tai Chi or Qigong concluded that they showed benefits after 8 to 12 weeks for heart health (especially blood pressure), bone health and balance (especially among those who were sedentary or at risk of falls).  Benefits are most clear comparing those who practice these movements to people who are sedentary.  Tai Chi and Qigong may provide benefits similar to other forms of exercise, but the results are less consistent, perhaps depending on frequency and specific style.  Impact on weight control was inconclusive. 

 

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The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $91 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is part of the global network of charities that are dedicated to the prevention of cancer. The WCRF global network is led and unified by WCRF International, a membership association which operates as the umbrella organization for the network .The other charities in the WCRF network are World Cancer Research Fund in the UK (www.wcrf-uk.org); Wereld Kanker Onderzoek Fonds in the Netherlands (www.wcrf-nl.org); World Cancer Research Fund Hong Kong (www.wcrf-hk.org); and Fonds Mondial de Recherche contre le Cancer in France (www.fmrc.fr).


 

  

  September 2010 -- Online Articles
>>Tai Chi (Online Only)
>>Medicare Fraud Alert (Online only)
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>>Understainding Medicare
>>Protective Orders
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>>The Mysterious Case of the Unwanted Auto Fleet
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>>Secret Cities: Visiting the Secret Sites of WWII
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