Tai Chi is shown time and time again to improve a wide variety of health functions including cardiovascular function. Italian researchers from the Cardiovascular Research Unit within the IRCCS San Raffaele in Rome recently conducted a study to evaluate whether Tai Chi with endurance training (ET) is better than endurance training alone for elderly patients with Chronic heart failure (CHF).
Researchers recruited sixty CHF patients around the age of 73. Half of the patients were giving Tai Chi exercises along with endurance training and the other half were given endurance training alone. The patients exercised 4 sessions per week. Cardiovascular endurance was tested before and after the intervention by a 6 minute walking test along with analysis of blood pressure, heart rate, among other assessments.
Researchers concluded that Tai Chi along with endurance training significantly improved all markers of health for CHF patients compared to endurance training alone. When coupled with other benefits such as balance and coordination, overall stress reduction and other benefits Tai Chi should be a standard offering for patients.
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