Incorporating tai chi into your lifestyle

Print Friendly

Some martial arts are very meditative – like tai chi, which has grown in popularity outside its native China over the last few decades.

With origins that date back to the 12th century, tai chi is a form of defence training like karate, but is now pursued for its health benefits in many countries.

The health benefits of tai chi

So what exactly is tai chi, and what health benefits can it bestow? Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, involves a range of bodily manoeuvres that help with balance, joint movement and muscle flexibility. The discipline focuses on deep breathing, relaxation and meditation, and in that way is similar to the ancient Indian art of yoga.

Since it can be practised both outdoors and indoors, and in quite a small physical space, tai chi is particularly popular in urban centres. It’s not uncommon, for instance, to find large groups of people in Central Park in New York practising tai chi in the open air.

Some people choose to cover the full breadth of tai chi, including its defence-related aspects. However, many others decide to focus purely on its health giving properties. For people aged over 60, tai chi can be particularly beneficial, as this NHS advice page on tai chi explains. Its meditative qualities can help to reduce stress while its gentle physical demands can help ageing bodies improve balance, mobility and muscle strength.

As the NHS indicates, tai chi is often favoured by people who suffer from osteoporosis and arthritis. And since it doesn’t demand a great deal from your body, it’s the perfect way to reintroduce yourself to exercise if you haven’t been active for several years.

For more information on tai chi, take a look at what the Tai Chi Union of Great Britain has to say. This national organisation may also help you find a class in your area.

Is tai chi right for you?

The fluid movements of tai chi may look difficult but it’s important to remember that you’re never too old to start learning this martial arts discipline. Since it’s a low impact exercise, it’s easy to get started and will help you build up your stamina levels gradually. You may even find that after several months of doing tai chi, your body is prepared for more intense exercise.

The best way to find out if tai chi is right for you is simply to drop in to a class. It’s always better to try tai chi in person, rather than copying an instructor from an online video or DVD. That’s because you need someone to tell you that your moves are correct and to ensure that you get the style right.

If you have an existing injury or recurring bodily pains, make sure your teacher knows about them before you start a class. When performed correctly, tai chi should not cause you any injury – but if a particular move hurts your body, ask your teacher for a less challenging variation.


All content on is provided for general information only, and should not be treated at all as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. will not be responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content on and we are also not liable for the content of any external websites or links from or to Silversurfers to any other websites. Please always consult your own doctor if you’re in any way concerned about any aspect of your health.

The following two tabs change content below.
Hello ... I am the Creative Director and Website Editor for Silversurfers and manage all the social media too. I hope you find the features and articles we have shared with you of interest and relevance. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us ... I hope you enjoy Silversurfers and all that we offer ...

Latest posts by Silversurfers Editor (see all)

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password
6th Nov 2016
Thanks for voting!
Living in the boondocks has it's drawbacks. No Tai Chi dojo's here.The only local gathering is for Zumba, too much prancing around for me.
After doing Tai Chi for several years before I had to move, I do miss having a Sensei and of being one with the class.

I am not daunted.
I bought a good Tai Chi CD and play it on my large flat screen TV.
I now have my own private dojo.
Can't live without Tai Chi and meditation.
Barbara Moore
3rd Jan 2014
Thanks for voting!
Locally we have an Energie for Women gym, which has Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates, as well as half-hour classes, some seated in their programme. The social side is great too, and somewhere to escape and recover some 'me' time, It's just important to start ......... your body and mind feels so much better then.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Sport

Discovering the joys of yoga Yoga Class, Group of People Relaxing and Doing Yoga. Child's Pose. Wellness and Healthy Lifestyle.
Yoga is a form of exercise that's excellent for both mind and body . While it's not the type...
Discovering the joys of mountain biking bigstock-Riding-on-a-bike-in-forest-s-p-14020292
If you love whizzing down the high street or taking a leisurely spin round the local park and are...
Strengthening your body through Pilates bigstock-Senior-group-in-back-training--40232935
As you get older, staying in shape becomes more important than ever. But if you're put off...
Preparing for a hiking trip bigstock-Nordic-Hiking-8139363
Whether it's a quiet country walk or an expedition to the Highlands, hiking can be one of the most...
The greatest British Grand Prix drivers Sepang, MALAYSIA - 23 November: Start of the race at the World A
Ever since its inaugural race in 1950, Formula One has been one of the world's most glamorous and...
World’s Best Fishing Holidays Abroad Fishing Abroad
Combining the meditative qualities of extreme relaxation with the sudden thrill of the hunt...
Fly fishing: your new outdoor hobby bigstock-Traditional-Fly-fishing-Rod-Wi-7921747
For millions of people around the world, fishing is the ultimate way to relax. From the serenity...
Bowling tips for the young at heart bigstock-Ten-bowling-pins-and-ball-47157838
Bowling may have a reputation as a sport for teenagers and more mature adults, but in truth...
The UK's outdoor pools: the perfect dip bigstock-Senior-Couple-Having-Fun-In-Sw-39676483
Often dubbed the ultimate exercise, swimming is a fantastic treat for both mind and body. Not...
Sailing sweet spots throughout the UK bigstock-Yacht-Sailing-against-sunset--41827807
Giving you the chance to escape from city streets and unwind away from your normal routine...
Ride the waves: surfing for beginners bigstock-Big-Blue-Wave-with-Sun-and-Cle-17176127
If you love the water and aren't afraid to go out and splash in the open waves, surfing might be...
Golfing in Scotland during the 2014 Ryder Cup bigstock-Golf-Ball-Near-Hole-46593271
Across the world, Scotland is known for two things: whisky and golf. And in September 2014, the...