Can Heavy People Practice Tai Chi?

Published: 11th June 2008
Views: N/A

Yang Chengfu was the master of Tai Chi Chuan who brought tai chi to the masses in China. He was also responsible for the popularity of Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan.

I don't think Yang Chengfu was heavy in his younger days. It's said that as he became successful and better known his new life brought with it plenty of food and drink, and he put on quite a bit of weight. I've never heard that his weight caused him any problems when doing tai chi. He was always considered a great master.

I've seen heavy people show up for classes and I've seen them improve the same as anyone else. A heavy friend of mine recently told me he doesn't like going to the gym because he doesn't want to stand out. He would much rather be able to exercise at home. He tells me this is common among heavy people and I believe him.

The biggest problem I've seen new students have is a lack of leg strength, and it's the same for everyone. It takes time to build leg strength and there are specific exercises for this purpose. Like everything else, the more often you do these exercises the quicker you build leg strength, whether you're heavy or not.

Heavy people seem to have a harder time with stamina, and seem to overcome it fairly quickly if they come to class a couple of times each week.

On the other hand its seems that heavy people also have an advantage, and this is that they are often stronger than skinny people so they can advance more quickly in areas such as long pole work. Using a 3 meter long pole is a good way to build the types of muscles needed for good tai chi as well as the waist/hip movement that's so important as you advance.

So if heavy people don't like going to classes, how can they help themselves? Most exercise tapes are geared toward thinner people and are more difficult for heavier people to adapt.

My goal is to reach people who don't otherwise have access to tai chi classes and, those who don't like being in a classroom situation. Tai chi is easily modified for practice in a hotel room or even your kitchen. It provides people with an alternative and has more health benefits than anything else I know.

According to a Non-obesity Specific Health Study sited on ObesityDiscussion.com, "Heavy people sit on average two and a half hours more per day than thin people". This makes tai chi an excellent and very simple exercise for heavy folks. It can be done by simply standing while doing the arm movements for 5 minutes at a time. As people progress they can also do it standing with their legs bent to increase the workout, as well as incorporating the leg movements.

So if you're a heavy person, don't let your weight hold you back. Tai chi exercises can provide enormous benefits for your heart, blood pressure, immune system, balance, etc. The main thing is to move a little bit more, a little more often so your body becomes conditioned to the changes and you begin to notice the difference.

Once you get started you may find it hard to stop. To me tai chi is like a drug that makes me feel really good, and if I don't do it for a while I can feel the difference.


------

posted by John Crewdson - http://www.beginningtaichi.net
Experience Free Bursts of Tai Chi(TM) click here - http://tinyurl.com/3n9zj8


Report this article Ask About This Article


Loading...
More to Explore