Heart disease patients benefit from performing tai chi exercises as reported by a new study. The study reviewed 35 previous studies, which included over 2,200 individuals from 10 different countries. The researchers found that those with heart disease benefitted from tai chi, as their blood pressure lowered along with their cholesterol and other heart-related factors.
Tai chi, along with other traditional Chinese exercises, was also associated with higher quality of life and a reduction in depression.
Unfortunately, this style of exercise did not improve heart rate, aerobic fitness levels, or general health scores.
Coauthor Yu Liu said, “Traditional Chinese exercises are a low-risk, promising intervention that could be helpful in improving quality of life in patients with cardiovascular diseases — the leading cause of disability and death in the world. But the physical and psychological benefits to these patients of this increasingly popular form of exercise must be determined based on scientific evidence.”
The researcher’s next step is to perform clinical trials to review the effectiveness of Chinese exercise and chronic illness.