The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has posed a significant threat to both physical and mental health. Physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour, and negative emotions among the general population have been significantly increased because of COVID-19 home isolation and self-imposed confinement, which is what prompted the Study into how Tai Chi is affecting its Practitioners.
The study noted that effective exercise management is a recommended prevention strategy to improve both physical and mental health while also diminishing the effects of COVID-19 but went on to say that the benefits of Tai Chi practice for individuals coping with COVID-19 include immune system stimulation, inflammatory response reduction, rehabilitation of respiratory function, and improvement in the overall emotional wellbeing of the practitioners.
The Benefits of Tai Chi on Human Health
The Researchers indicated that the significant value of Tai Chi in promoting positive physical health outcomes included muscular strength, aerobic capacity, balance and motor control, prevention of falls, assistance with sleep disorders and fatigue, reduction in body mass index, blood pressure and heart rate, to name a few. In addition to that, Tai Chi practice was seen to have a direct correlate to positive mental health. All of this we have been aware of for quite some time.
Effect of Tai Chi Practice on Immune Function and Inflammation
The Study confirmed that immune system function and inflammatory responses can be improved by Tai Chi practice and that there was an increase in antibody levels of practitioners following vaccination.
COVID-19 is characterized by an overexuberant inflammatory response - a necessary response of the immune system to infection, resulting in excessive production of inflammatory cytokines leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome. It was noted after numerous randomised control trials that the levels of inflammatory cytokines can be reduced during Tai Chi practice.
Based on these findings, the Study noted that Tai Chi can definitely be recommended as an appropriate exercise intervention to reduce inflammatory response, and improve immune system function.
Tai Chi can be used as an effective exercise intervention to improve both physical and psychological health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the benefits of Tai Chi practice for individuals coping with COVID-19 include immune system promotion, inflammatory response reduction, rehabilitation of pulmonary function, and psychological improvement.
The researchers went on to say that the positive effects of Tai Chi on human health can be recommended as alternatives to counteract the negative effect of physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour, and mental disorders in the general population during a confinement period. Furthermore, Tai Chi may be useful in possible prevention and providing rehabilitation following COVID-19 infection.