South China Morning Post: Jeanette Wang 11 Mar, 2016 6:33pm
Why Chinese exercises such as tai chi are so good for patients’ all-round health
Practising tai chi, qigong and other such exercises lowers blood pressure, bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and reduces depression, in stroke patients and people with heart disease and high blood pressure
Traditional Chinese exercises such as tai chi may improve the health and well-being of those living with heart disease, high blood pressure or stroke, according to new research from the Shanghai University of Sport published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers reviewed 35 studies, including 2,249 participants from 10 countries, on the physical and psychological benefits of traditional Chinese exercises (most commonly tai chi and qigong). The researchers found, among participants with cardiovascular disease, Chinese exercises helped reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number) by more than 9.12 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by more than 5 mm Hg on average. They also found small, but statistically significant drops in the levels of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides. Chinese exercises also seemed to improve quality of life and reduce depression in patients with cardiovascular disease. However, traditional Chinese exercises did not significantly improve participant’s heart rate, aerobic fitness level or scores on a general health questionnaire.
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