The great thing about Tai Chi, the ancient Chinese martial art which looks like a slow-motion dance, is that it can be performed almost anywhere, at home, in the gym, outside in the garden or even in a park. It is not necessary to purchase any special clothes, such as expensive track suits and trainers, just loose comfortable clothing, and shoes suitable for exercise, it can even be performed barefoot. No need to use or buy any expensive equipment – no mats, gym balls, weights, exercise bands or kettlebells etc. It is usually practised in standing making it ideal for those who would struggle getting on and off the floor, although it can be adapted and performed in sitting or lying for those with specific health needs.
A towel and bottle of water are not essential as Tai Chi is a moderately aerobic form of exercise and does not cause breathlessness, excessive sweating and dehydration of the body. Accessories such as iPOD’s and music downloads aren’t required as Tai Chi is traditionally done quietly.
No need for massages, liniments and hot baths to relieve aching muscles after exercising because Tai Chi is performed very slowly making it gentle and safe for everyone. Injuries such as strains and sprains which may occur with modern western exercise such as running, gym work, and aerobic dance routines etc are rare.
Tai Chi does require good instruction but once learnt it is a safe and enjoyable form of exercise with many health benefits which can be practised for life.