By James Gamble via SWNS
Tai Chi is better than aerobic exercise for lowering high blood pressure, according to a new study.
A new study found that the ancient Chinese martial art was more effective in reducing high blood pressure than other forms of exercise such as walking.
Chinese scientists compared two groups of participants with high blood pressure over the course of a year – one practicing Tai Chi and the other performing aerobic exercise.
Researchers found that Tai Chi was the most effective method to lower high blood pressure.
The authors of the study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, say their results should encourage health counselors to promote the gentle martial art in preventing heart disease in those with hypertension.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences took 342 participants aged 18 to 65 with prehypertension – blood pressure that is slightly higher than normal – and divided them into two groups.
Half of the participants, who had an average age of 49, performed Tai Chi – a Chinese martial art practiced for self-defense and health – for an hour during four supervised sessions a week for a year.
Traditional mind-body exercise benefits balance as well as breathing and heart function, while previous studies have also shown its benefits in lowering blood pressure.
The other half of the participants performed aerobic exercise including stair climbing, jogging, brisk walking and cycling four times a week during the same time frame.
The researchers measured the participants’ systolic blood pressure (SBP) at six months and at the end of the study.
In both phases, they found significant changes in the blood pressure of the two groups.
Each participant had blood pressure readings between 120 and 139 mm Hg — millimeters of mercury — at the start of the study.
At 12 months, the average blood pressure of the Tai Chi group dropped by 7.01 mm Hg – while the aerobic groups dropped by only 4.61 mm Hg.
Similar results were seen after six months, and both 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure – readings taken during daily life – and nocturnal ambulatory blood pressure – taken while sleeping – were also found to be significantly reduced in the group Tai Chi. compared to their aerobic exercise counterparts.
Dr. Yanwei Xing, a lead author of the study, said the results showed the potential benefits of practicing Tai Chi over aerobic exercise to lower blood pressure.
“This randomized clinical trial found that 12 months of Tai Chi significantly reduced office SBP in patients with prehypertension by 2.40 mm Hg more than aerobic exercise,” explained Dr. Xing.
“Furthermore, the Tai Chi group showed a greater reduction in 24-hour ambulatory and overnight SBP than the aerobic exercise group.
Twelve months of Tai Chi is superior to aerobic exercise for reducing blood pressure in patients with prehypertension, which would be more beneficial in reducing the risk of hypertension.
Dr. Xing suggested that public health authorities should promote Tai Chi as a method for preventing heart disease, saying, “As a safe, moderate-intensity, multimodal mind-body exercise, Tai Chi uses a progressive approach that instructs individuals to focus on slow and slow activities. fluid movements.
“Tai Chi is suitable for practicing people of all ages and physical conditions.
“From an implementation perspective, a Tai Chi program is easy to introduce and practice in community settings, thereby providing primary care for prehypertensive populations.
“Tai Chi can help improve body flexibility, balance and cardiopulmonary function while reducing the risk of falling.
“These findings support the important public health value of Tai Chi to promote cardiovascular disease prevention in prehypertensive populations.”
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