Maritza C. from Peru asks:
“I am 61 years old. Is it important to practice Tai Chi Chuan? I love it. But I am not sure that it is enough exercise for me. Thanks.”
Thanks for your question, Maritza.
My teacher, Professor Cheng Man-Ch’ing, wanted to spread Tai Chi to the world, as a health benefit, a healthy exercise. Indeed at the first level, the Tai Chi form is Meditation, Chinese moving Yoga as well as a cardio exercise if you have your legs bent enough (in other words, are in low enough stances). The form also has other benefits, as medical studies you can look up online will indicate. These benefits include preventing osteoporosis, arthritis, improved circulation, reducing stress levels, and reducing pain etc. Professor Cheng said practicing Tai Chi form should be enough exercise for anyone. And indeed it can be if you are living a stressful and busy life, with no time for any other exercise, as it is a complete exercise system, with many benefits.
However, Maritza, I am your age, and I make time for other things as well. I lift light weights for muscle tone in my arms and chest, and walk for additional cardio. I climb stairs and take static postures for additional leg strength. But exercise alone is not enough. I also give thought to and take vitamin and mineral supplementation, choose my food with more care than I used to and allot time to sleep, as well as the Tai Chi in my regimen.
So while Tai Chi can be one’s only form of exercise, and can serve you well in that way, it does not have to be.
Live long and prosper.
In Tai Chi,