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Performing Tai Chi and Yoga for Physical and Mental Health

Everyone has to deal with anxiety and stress. This has been the case throughout all of human history. Thankfully, there are many different ways we can deal with stress and anxiety. A hard workout pumping iron, hitting a boxing bag, or performing high intensity aerobics will reveal all that excess anxiety and restore a sense of calmness. Unfortunately, while there are many people who would love to take part in them, not everyone may be in shape for such hard workouts. Others may find these types of workouts unappealing. Does that leave these people out in the proverbial cold? Actually, there are many unique and fun workouts these folks can take part in. Two of the most fun are Yoga and Tai Chi and they come with many excellent benefits.

Yoga and Tai Chi are nothing new, in fact they have been around for may thousands of years. Yoga was first conceived in India and Tai Chi originates in China. Both of these activities involve freeing the body’s tension by promoting flexibility, instilling proper breathing patterns and by moving meditation. As such, these exercises promote mental and physical health that can significantly reduce stress and anxiety.

There are other added benefits to these workouts. Both Yoga and Tai Chi can help develop lean muscle mass. Now, some may wonder how this is possible since lifting heavy weights is not part of either of these forms of exercise. It is because some of the exercises in these programs rely on isometric tension. This creates an internal form of progressive resistance exercise that helps develop lean muscle mass. This yields greater strength which contributes to alleviating tension in daily life. This then translates into calmer state of mind and all the other benefits that come with it.

One does not even have to invest a great deal of time in these exercises, simply performing them 20 minutes a session every other day can yield many positive benefits. These are simple exercises that do not require a lot of difficult or hard work. They just require a certain level of commitment.

Where can you learn these exercises? There are several options available. Besides the many commercial schools and gyms offering programs, most local community centers offer low cost or outright free courses. Of course, there are a number of excellent DVDs one could view as well. Granted, there will not be an instructor there to help but if you pay attention to the presented material closely, you can still get much benefit from it.

Yoga and Tai Chi have been improving mental and physical health for over 5,000 years. Why not keep the traditions going? It will definitely be to your benefit!

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