Of all the martial arts that are there, Tai Chi has proven to be a safe alternative to a cardiac rehabilitation program. It also helps that this form is an immensely enjoyable one to boot. Recently a study was done among a small group of patients and this was found in that particular study. This shows that this Chinese martial art can be a viable alternative.
The researchers worked with a small sample group of 29 people. They were enrolled into a couple of Tai Chi classes. One of them had 24 classes that were spread over 12 weeks and the other one had 52 classes that were spread over 24 weeks. Participants were also provided DVDs (digital video discs) that had the same exercise sequence so that they could be encouraged to practice the moves when the classes were not on.
The patients who worked in the long-term program (PLUS) were able to perform for 100 minutes more in a week than ones who had been put in the shorter program (LITE). This included both moderate and hard physical activity. The entire test was conducted over a period of three months. When seen over a six month period it was seen that the PLUS group had performed 111.6 minutes more compared to ones put in the LITE group.
The findings were released in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The lead author here was Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher, MD (MedicinaeDoctorem), Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown University.
The researchers stated that people who took part in the longer Tai Chi program were much better when it came to performing moderate and light physical activity (PA). In fact, they also said that when seen over 9 months the test began to show the kind of significant results that they had been looking for.
According to the lead author, this was an important trend because it suggested that the behavioral change was here to last, that they would last even when the instructor or other members of the support group would not be there to guide the test subjects. Dr. Salmoirago-Blotcher also writes that this is a significant one in the sense that the general population has always been resistant as far as behavioral change was concerned. Incidentally, the study group included people who were well-nigh chain smokers as well as ones that were obese.
What is more important in the context of this piece is that the researchers have found Tai Chi to be a safe option. They have also discovered that this form of exercise does not have any adverse effect as such. There were 21 men and 8 women in the study and on an average they were 67.9 years old.
The researchers have detailed how at risk the study population was. Half of them were suffering from diabetes. Around 66.66 percent of them had high levels of hypertension or cholesterol.
More than 50 percent of these people were obese and around 33.33 percent of them used to smoke on a regular basis at the time they were enrolled in the program. The researchers have also stated that more than 60 percent of the study people had suffered cases of myocardial infarction and 80 percent of them had percutaneous coronary intervention previously.
Dr. Salmoirago-Blotcher and her colleagues have stated that more than 60 percent of the people who suffer from cardiac arrests decline cardiac rehab after recovery.
In their studies, most people have stated that they refuse to participate in traditional rehab for the simple reason that they do not wish to take part in the intense exercises that these programs entail. They also perceive such programs to be dangerous.
However, Tai Chi is a much better alternative for these people because of its gentle and slow move-set. It also helps that it focuses primarily on techniques of relaxation. Researchers feel that these factors could assuage the worries of the common people who refuse to take part in the cardiac rehab programs.