There's no rule that says at-home workouts have to be boring, or that they can't improve some aspect of your life other than your physical health. If you're not interested in running on a treadmill, you might give the ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi (full name Tai Chi Chuan) a try. There are many benefits to getting involved in Tai Chi, and not all of them are strictly physical. We'll give you an overview of these benefits and how to get started to you can see if Tai Chi is something you might like to try.
Tai Chi, in Chinese, literally means "supreme ultimate fist." It involves five elements: response drills, self defense techniques, weapons, and forms. It is this last element, the forms, that most people associate with a Tai Chi workout, as it involves a series of moves strung together and can easily be done inside our outside. Tai Chi is both a hard and a soft martial art, with some moves that are slow and fluid and others that are abrupt and powerful, so you can tailor your Tai Chi routine to fit your body's capabilities.
Tai Chi is more than just a workout video you can follow along to, however. There is also an emphasis on concentration, with the mind fully focused on performing each move rather than stuck at work. While the actual moves in your Tai Chi workout exercise your body, mentally focusing on the exercises actually helps to relive your stress as well. And in today's fast paced society, we could all use a little less stress.
While Tai Chi is great exercise for the mind and body, it is also a martial art. If you take your studies seriously and endeavor to learn the other elements (not just the forms), you're also improving your ability to look after yourself. You'll have a self defense capability that can help you out if you are ever accosted on your way home, and this in turn will give you more confidence in yourself.
To get started on a Tai Chi regimen, you should take a class. There should be one offered at your local community center, at your gym, or at a dedicated martial arts school. If you're a very busy individual and you simply can't make the time commitment to an organized class, you can also check your library or video store for an instructional video. After you learn the basics, you can practice at home. All you need to practice Tai Chi, even in an organized class, is some loose fitting clothes and flat soled shoes, as there is no official uniform. Here Harvard discusses the benefits of practicing Tai Chi.