Appropriate for: Patients and Caregivers
The ancient Chinese practices of taiji (tia chi) and qi gong (pronounced CHEE-gung) combine slow, deliberate movements, meditation, and breathing exercises. The routines were not designed to burn calories or raise your heart rate. Instead, both tia chi and qi gong are martial arts that can help your circulation, balance, and alignment. They can also help restore your energy, called chi or qi (pronounced "chee"). The low-impact moving meditations include standing and balancing. Although qi gong and tai chi are excellent fitness activities for beginners and people with health conditions, elite athletes also benefit from doing the slow movements, because everyone needs better balance and muscle control. The postures flow together without pause, making qi gong and tai chi look like slow, graceful dances that keep your body in constant motion. You can take a class or do the exercises outdoors, on your own, or with a group.