If you’ve got heart disease, high blood pressure, heart failure, or have suffered a stroke, there is one form of exercise that might separate itself from the pack: tai chi.
New research is showing that tai chi can help heart patients solve some problems they encounter each day. For example, Health Day reports that a variety of people with heart problems experience stress, anxiety, and depression. Tai chi may be able to help.
Just how prevalent are these conditions in people with heart disease? The report suggests that these feelings affect 20% of people with heart disease or heart failure, 27% of people with high blood pressure, and 35% of stroke survivors.
The relaxed choreographed movements of tai chi are designed to encourage greater focus, better posture, and improved breathing. All of this can help to relieve stress, depression, and improve some of the symptoms associated with heart problems.
Researchers recently took a look at how tai-chi might help people with heart issues deal with some of the mental impacts of their condition. The team analyzed 15 clinical trials featuring more than 1,800 people. Each participant had one at least one of the following:
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Had suffered a stroke
They found that tai chi was associated with lower levels of mental distress, less depression, improved quality of love, and better mobility. In short, this form of exercise was able to improve mental and physical health.
Results were published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.
How might tai chi help? It can be a great way to relax and destress. It also encourages better posture, which is associated with improved mood. Its focus on measured breathing can also help to calm nerves.
Stress can be difficult for people with heart complications and put them at risk of a major episode. Finding ways to limit stress that have long-lasting effects is good way to manage symptoms and limit the risk for worsening conditions.