While Tai Chi training has already shown to help deconditioned and older adults improve their fitness levels and mental well-being, new research has shown that it may also help older adults with arthritis to improve their arthritic symptoms and health. According to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers found that arthritic patients who participated in a Tai Chi exercise program improved their arthritic symptoms, as well as their physical and mental health, significantly more than arthritic patients who did not practice Tai Chi.
In the study, researchers examined the effects of Tai Chi training in arthritis patients between the ages of 49 and 81. Thirty-three arthritic patients participated in the study, and were divided into two groups: the Tai Chi training group and the non-training group. The Tai Chi training group participated in two one-hour Tai Chi training sessions per week for three months, while the non-training group received no training.
At the end of the study, researchers discovered that patients in the Tai Chi group had significantly improved physical function and mental well-being, and decreased arthritic symptoms and tension compared to patients in the non-training group. Patients in the Tai Chi group had improved function in areas such as walking speed, bending ability, arm mobility and household activities.
Researchers believe that Tai Chi training can help older adults to manage their osteoarthritis better, while improving physical and mental health at the same time.
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