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Tai Chi Exercises
Can I Do Them

tai chi exercises - questions on abilities

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Am I too old / too young, / the wrong age to do the tai chi exercises?

Whatever age you are is just the right age.

And there is no upper age limit for tai chi exercise so you can continue as long as you enjoy it.



I haven't exercised in years - I'm really stiff - I've got Arthritis - Can I do Tai chi?

The nice thing about tai chi is that you can start from your current level of fitness and suppleness and do the exercises within your current capabilities.

What you'll find is that tai chi will gradually extend your range of movement and your fitness levels will rise.

A small warning! You might think that nothing is happening because the process is gradual. It's okay, things are gently happening and one day you'll think - 'I couldn't do that before'. And it'll be thanks to tai chi.

We found it obvious when we did the tai chi forms and stopped wobbling when we had to stand on one leg!.

Dr Paul Lam a tai chi gold medallist and a western doctor has created a specific set of moves, based on the sun style, for people with arthritis and diabetes check his site out Dr Lam's site

Just be sure to consult your health care professional to work out which tai chi exercises are within your range of abilities. And don't try to do too much too soon. Take it easy - tai chi has been around for thousands of years - it's not going to go away.


I have problems standing - can I do tai chi?

Several of the tai chi forms need a highly developed sense of balance - you might be better starting with Qi Gong.

Many of the Qi Gong exercises can be done sitting down and you'll still get lots of benefits from the exercises.

Always take it slowly at first, adapt it to your specific capabilities, and consult your doctor, therapist or chiropractor to work out which tai chi exercises are within your range of abilities

For a great video for seated exercises try Dr Keith Jeffrey's 4 Minute Fitness™ - it's a great set of tai chi / Qi Gong exercises and he demonstrates how to do them sitting down. Take a look at what he says


I'm really stressed out. Can tai chi help me?

tai chi and Qi Gong are great at reducing stress and tension. A major part of the tai chi exercises are concentration and breathing in time with the slow and graceful movements. Slow breathing promotes calmness and helps lower blood pressure and tension.

And as you focus on your tai chi movements and breathing your mind becomes clear of outside distractions - creating an oasis of calm.

It's usually difficult for beginners to relax in tai chi until they know the sequence of moves in the form. So if you are really stressed you might be better to start with the Qi Gong exercises - they are easier to learn and the relaxation benefits kick in straight away.

If you really want to learn a form all is not lost - many tai chi classes start and finish with Qi Gong exercises so you can still relax.



I can't dance or learn patterns - will I cope with tai chi?

If you have had no previous success with dancing or learning patterns that does not mean that you will be unable to learn tai chi and Qi Gong.

It might just mean you'll take a bit longer to get into the exercises.

The good things about tai chi is that you don't have to do the moves at exactly the speed as everyone else. It's not like sequence dancing! Go at your own pace.

It might even take you a bit longer to learn the sequence of the moves in the tai chi forms. In that case you might find a good book useful. You'll be able to review the sequence of the Tai chi form whenever you want.

Enjoy and relax. There is no rush to learn tai chi - take it at your own pace - it will come.



I don't have a lot of time to do tai chi exercises

If you are really pushed for time and can't get to classes then you can practice tai chi at home, in hotels, parks, in fact just about anywhere, for 5 -30 minutes depending on the time available.

You don't even need a lot of space - as long as you can stretch your arms fully out to the side and above your head - you'll be able to do individual tai chi moves.

The full tai chi forms have walking movements so you'll need a fair bit of space - unless you adopt the policy of taking two steps back every time you are getting too near to the wall, table or whatever you are in danger of bumping into. .

Ideally you want to be able to practice your tai chi for 15 minutes a day - in three 5 minute chunks if you like.

If you don't have the time to go to classes you'll need to make sure that you get the right to do the tai chi and Qi Gong exercises safely.

tai chi forms and Qi Gong exercises can be done in a variety of timed sessions. You could do a 5, 10 or 15 minute session. And, its better to give yourself longer on the days that you are learning new things - its better to practice a few exercises well than lots badly. If you want to learn tai chi forms in 15 minutes a day you are probably going to have to learn a move at a time. So you just need to be aware that progress is going to feel slow.


I can't get to a gym to join a Tai chi class

If you don't have the time to travel to tai chi classes - ever - then you need to be careful how you get the instruction you need to learn and do the tai chi and Qi Gong exercises safely.

We've looked at a number of tai chi videos and books you can see what we say about the ones that we tried. Check out our video recommendations



Will Tai chi suit me?

Who knows? Explore our Everyday tai chi site and see if it appeals to you.

Try out the ShiBaShi exercises from the tai chi exercises page if you like them

Then Â….

The only way to find out for sure is
to give it a try....



I'm not into this spiritual stuff

You don't have to be.

The short answer is that when you practice tai chi regularly you will get the physical benefits of toned muscles and posture and you will get the mental benefits of relaxation.

We talked to several people who have spent years doing tai chi and Qi Gong exercises. Some say it's just a physical thing.

Others say it has changed their whole approach to life.

It's up to you how you choose to develop with tai chi and Qi Gong.


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Enjoy your Tai chi!!