Practising qigong, taiji may lower blood pressure
PEOPLE with heart disease may benefit from practising traditional Chinese exercises such as taiji, a new study found.
The findings were drawn from a review of 35 studies that involved more than 2,200 people across 10 countries.
Researchers from the Shanghai University of Sport in China found that these types of low-risk activities appeared to help lower one's blood pressure and levels of "bad" cholesterol, as well as other unhealthy blood fats.
Taiji, qigong and other traditional Chinese exercises were also linked to a better quality of life and reduced depression in heart disease patients, the study authors added.
"Traditional Chinese exercises are a low-risk, promising intervention that could be helpful in improving quality of life in patients with cardiovascular diseases - the leading cause of disability and death in the world," said study co-author Liu Yu in a statement.
He heads the School of Kinesiology at the university.
However, the exercises did not significantly improve one's heart rate, aerobic fitness levels or general health scores.
The findings were published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Studies that were analysed include those in which participants were randomly assigned to either perform traditional Chinese exercises, engage in another form of exercise or maintain their usual activity level.
The most common traditional exercises are taiji, qigong and baduanjin, an alternative form of qigong.