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Tai Chi beneficial to heart patients
Tue, 26 Apr 2011 12:43:41 GMT
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Tai Chi meditative exercises may improve quality of life, mood and self-efficacy in patients with chronic heart failure, a new study says.

Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese martial art, includes many meditative exercises. Previous studies have pointed out numerous health benefits including the promotion of balance control, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and the reduction of the risk of falls.

According to the findings appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association, Tai Chi practitioners showed significantly better improvements in quality of life, including increased confidence to perform various forms of exercise, improved daily activity levels, and greater feelings of well-being.

Although the changes in peak oxygen uptake and 6-minute walks were similar in the Tai Chi and education-only group, the researchers found a significant increase in the number of calories burned per week in those engaged in moderate intensity outside activities.

Researchers added that the effect of Tai Chi on the patients' quality of life was “similar to or even greater than what has been seen with cardiac resynchronization therapy,” an implantable pacemaker device used to speed up heartbeats in some heart failure patients.

“Because chronic heart failure is a progressive and debilitating condition, the independent importance of beneficially affecting patient-perceived quality of life is increasingly appreciated. Improvement of mood in this population is highly relevant,” said lead author Gloria Yeh.

“Tai Chi appears to be a safe alternative to low-to-moderate intensity conventional exercise training,” she added. ” Tai Chi is safe and has a good rate of adherence and may provide value in improving daily exercise, quality of life, self-efficacy and mood in frail, deconditioned patients with systolic heart failure."

SJM/PKH
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