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Martial Arts and Physical Fitness

If working out at the gym is not your thing, martial arts can be an engaging alternative to bring more physical activity into your life.

According to a recent article published in the JAMA & Archives of Internal Medicine, Tai Chi showed a greater improvement in quality of life for heart failure patients involved in the study.

Tai chi is a technique using movements and positions, systematically. Tai chi is believed to have been developed in 12th Century China.

The study was conducted on 100 individuals who fit the profile as an outpatient with systolic heart failure with the average age of 67, to engage in a 12-week Tai Chi exercise program.

Additional improvements were seen in self-efficacy and in mood, according to the study.

According to the CDC, martial arts can be considered a moderate to vigorous intensity exercise. This depends on the type of activity engaged in.

For older adults who have trouble sleeping doing martial arts may offer an alternative to sleeping medication according to research supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with the National Institutes of Health Journal of Sleep.

A study found that for older adults engaging in Tai Chi Chih (a westernized version of Tai Chi) slept better. Tai chi chih has the added advantage of being a physical activity many older adults can participate in.

Martial arts can also be an alternative to traditional exercise to help lose weight.

According to reports, obesity has more than doubled in the Unites States since the 1970s. There is a need for children and adults become more active to balance their caloric intake.

According to the report for 2010 on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans from HHS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, physical activity need to be engaged in each week for substantial health benefits.

Other benefits from martial arts activities include gaining more confidence and focus in learning your body’s limitations and how to control oneself.