Tai Chi for Cognitive Training?

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese practice for linking mind and body in a martial art. Today it is a low-impact form of exercise and wellness that may improve a number of cognitive functions including mental focus, memory, managing emotions and perception.

Tai Chi involves a series of fluid, slow-paced motions and stretches that have been described as “meditation in motion”.  The benefits of Tai Chi have just started to be formally studied. An in depth article on the Mayo Clinic website, Tai Chi: Discover the many possible health benefits, reports there is preliminary evidence for these benefits:

  • Reducing anxiety and depression
  • Improving balance, flexibility and muscle strength
  • Reducing falls in older adults
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving cardiovascular fitness in older adult
  • Relieving chronic pain
  • Increasing energy, endurance and agility
  • Improving overall feelings of well-being

Clearly these benefits go beyond improving brain function and cognitive performance.  Getting started in Tai Chi is  not hard. There are many fine resources available for little cost. You can produce results in as little as 8-12 weeks.

Check out this 5 minute free video for a decent introduction.  It won’t make you an expert but it should be enough to determine if you want to try more. There is a product pitch but it is soft.

I am interested in readers’ suggestions for resources for learning Tai Chi, especially those that emphasize improving brain function and cognitive performance.