Trying to stay youthful? Exercise is important, but it is not only getting exercise that matters, the type of exercise may make a difference. Tai Chi is now thought to help increase stem cells and fight aging.
For people who may be searching for ways to retain their youth, they may be sad to discover that there is no true fountain of youth. However, an exciting new study shows that those who play Tai Chi may have a distinct advantage when it comes to staying young.
The recent study in Taiwan examined the exercise behaviours and aging symptoms of three separate groups. One group used regular Tai Chi for exercise, one group used daily walking, and one group did not regularly exercise.
At the conclusion of the study, those who used Tai Chi for exercise showed higher levels of certain stem cells that help the body regenerate and stay young, especially when compared with the group who had no exercise at all.
The stem cells being examined are called CD 34+, and are known to help cells renew, differentiate and proliferate. Tai Chi is thought to contribute to the development of these cells and encourage production of higher amounts of stem cells.
In addition to helping with the development of blood stem cells, called hematopoietic stem cells, Tai Chi has also shown benefits for patients with Parkinson’s disease as well as fibromyalgia. The benefits of this ancient traditional Chinese form of martial arts also helps to increase blood flow throughout the body, reduce pain and inflammation, improve balance, increase aerobic capacity, decrease blood pressure, reduce stress and improve a person’s overall quality of health and quality of life.
Researchers want to further examine the exact correlations between Tai Chi and increased CD 34+ stem cells, and continue to explore the effects on aging. Different populations need to be examined, in order to best apply the findings to treatments and prevention of certain health conditions, as well as help reduce the effects of aging.
Clearly there are many benefits to using Tai Chi as a form of exercise, but the full extent of the benefits is not yet understood.
SOURCES: http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/05/28/tai-chi-exercises-offer-anti-aging-benefits-at-cellular-level-study-suggests-including-pain-and-stress-reduction/; http://focustaiwan.tw/news/afav/201406070027.aspx