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BBC Radio 4 – Just One Thing – with Michael Mosley

“It also seems to exercise your brain,” says Dr. Siu. “There has been evidence from brain imaging studies that suggests that your brain is adapting at both structural and functional levels… Regular exercise can change the brain a bit, but not to the extent that we see in tai chi training.”

Someone who practices tai chi burns the same amount of calories as someone who trains much harder.

He believes that the element of meditation is gratitude. “You may want to incorporate meditations into your tai chi movement to get the most out of your tai chi,” the expert suggests.

It burns the same number of calories as regular exercise.

According to Dr. Siu, it feels like a very soft, slow and fluid movement. I hardly exercise. But someone who practices tai chi burns the same amount of calories as someone who seems to train much harder: “A tai chi practitioner burns the same amount of calories as normal exercises in our research conditions.

Tai chi can help you lose weight as fast as the gym

Another study showed amazing results when it came to tai chi and weight loss.

Tai chi is “about as effective as regular exercise,” including aerobic and strength training, “for reducing waist circumference in people with central obesity,” says Dr. Siu. (Central obesity is a sign of visceral, visceral fat surrounding our organs.)

According to him, this is great news for those who do not like regular exercise or have limited mobility. “Now they may have another option that will allow them to manage their central obesity condition.”


Dr. Siu’s top tip is to join a taijiquan class with a qualified instructor because of the meditative component: “Body movement is easy to catch before watching online videos; the hard part will be the meditation part.” He suggests that someone who personally guides you will help you master the skills of “meditation in motion” faster.

But for those who can’t join the class in person, the online video will still allow you to master the “fundamental moves” and get to work. There is a simple video on the BBC website; you will also find it on the NHS website.

Tai chi is a trifle that can be practiced at home – and you don’t even have to change your clothes. Try it and your immune system, your heart and your brain will benefit.

To learn more about the benefits of Taijiquan, listen to this edition of Just One Thing on BBC Sounds.

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