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If you are managing symptoms of depression vigorous exercise may take more energy than you can muster, but the gentle exercise of tai chi might be doable.
Performing tai chi does not leave people breathless since the movements are slow and deliberate. Yet, the steady motions enhance muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and offer a bit of aerobic conditioning.
Tai chi involves completing a set or series of slow-motion movements. Each movement in a series flows seamlessly into the next movement without pause. People breath naturally while going through the tai chi motions, and are attentive to sensations experienced in the body.
The movements of tai chi are smooth, soothing, and unforced so the joints and muscles remain relaxed. Most movements can be adapted to the needs of people with mobility issues.
A series of choreographed movements is called a “form” in tai chi. Short forms are a series of several movements while long forms can involve hundreds. Beginners typically practice basic motions and short tai chi forms.
Joining a class run by an expert might be the best way to start, but you can also learn tai chi via websites, videos, and books.
Tai chi may appeal to and benefit people with depression for several reasons:
Source: Harvard Health
Photo credit: Steven Depolo (@flickr)
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