Fresh Start to Fitness: Using Tai Chi to improve your health

Fresh Start 2 Fitness - Tai Chi
Tai chi is a gentle, low impact form of martial art that has numerous health benefits, according to Jeffrey Beck, exercise specialist with the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray.

Beck says Tai Chi is a great activity to fight stress as it helps to lower blood pressure, enhance the mind-body connection, and improves strength, flexibility and balance.

Beck recommends that you complete the following beginner Tai Chi moves three times per week and get a taste of a unique exercise experience.

1) Move 1: Take a wide stance with your left leg forward, toes pointing forward. Right leg will have toes pointed outward. Shift your weight on to your left leg as you gently rock forward pushing your arms straight out in front of you as you exhale. Take a deep breath in as you shift your weight on to your right leg, pulling your arms back. Do this for one minute and repeat three times.

2) Move 2: Start with legs shoulder width apart. Bring your right leg up, bending the knee and balancing on your left leg while also bringing your hands up to chest level. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side. The key is to maintain fluid movement throughout. Do this for one minute and repeat three times.

3) Move 3: Start with left leg forward and left hand up in front of face. Cross your right leg behind you while twisting upper body to face the opposite direction, right hand up in front of face. Step left leg in front again with corresponding hand placement. Do this for one minute, switching traveling directions as needed. Repeat three times.