Mind-body exercises such as yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates are not only beneficial for stress management, but have other potential health advantages as well, according to Ralph La Forge, M.S., a research analyst from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
La Forge reviewed recent literature on mind-body exercises and found that since 2000, the number of published mind-body and mindful exercise research studies and trials has continued to grow.
Some yoga and other mind-body exercises can improve or maintain health and cardiovascular fitness. According to research reviewed by La Forge, the cardiorespiratory and metabolic cost of traditional yoga programs vary according to the yoga style, pose sequence and fitness level of the student.
La Forge notes that not all forms of yoga meet exercise intensity recommendations for levels of physical activity for improving or maintaining health or cardiovascular fitness. However, he says certain heart-health benefits can still be derived from these types of yoga.
“There are other qualities of mind-body fitness, like relaxation, that can improve cardiovascular health besides the intensity of exercise,” Forge said.
Mind-body exercises can be easily adapted into warm-up and cool-down routines for traditional exercises, such as running, says La Forge.
Practicing restorative yoga during cool-down sessions and performing Tai Chi to improve balance are two methods of incorporating mind-body exercises as preventative care during existing physical activity programs.
One significant study La Forge overviewed looked at yogic lifestyles and its impact on the progression of coronary artery disease in individuals. This study showed that a yogic lifestyle can slow the progression of coronary artery disease. The study took into account a full spectrum of lifestyle qualities, such as yogic lifestyles which include dietary, meditation, walking, and yoga exercise.
La Forge’s research study also found that mind-centered therapies have an important role in pain management and rehabilitation. “Research support for Pilates and yoga-based programs for low-back pain has increased. This presents an opportunity for mind-body exercise professionals to incorporate these exercises into their client practices,” he said.
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day Event.
All are welcome at Acupuncture & Massage College’s World Tai Chi & Qigong Day event, which will be held on Saturday,May2, 10 am to 2pm on the AMC campus, located at 10506 N. Kendall Drive, Miami. For information call (305) 595-9500. The event, a four-hour seminar of Tai Chi and Qigong, can be attended for only a $20.00 fee.
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, a spectacular global health and healing event, is held in April each year. Tai Chi and Qigong groups form mass gatherings in public parks or other public places around the world, in 60 nations and 50 US states, at 10 am (local time) to exhibit Tai Chi and QiGong to the community and the world. Activities are open to the public and educate about Tai Chi and Qigong health benefits.
Tai Chi is believed to boost the immune system, slow the aging process, lower high blood pressure, relieve stress, and to improve balance and coordination.
For information about Acupuncture & Massage College’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs call Joe Calareso, Admissions Director, at (305) 595-9500.