Tai Chi

This is a discussion on Tai Chi within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I was wondering if anyone has tried Tai Chi to get in shape. As some of you have seen my picture you can see I ...

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Thread: Tai Chi

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Rhome's Avatar
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    Tai Chi

    I was wondering if anyone has tried Tai Chi to get in shape. As some of you have seen my picture you can see I need to get in alot better shape, the problem I have is I have very bad knees so running is out and walks are limited. I was reading that Tai Chi might help me and my knees some what, so thats why I'm asking if anyone has tried it and is it helpful.
    Best,
    Rhome
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    The movements are so slow that I doubt that it would do much for weight loss. Certainly would strengthen muscles though. The movements are very similar to aggressive martial arts, just in slow motion.

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    A close friend with significant back problems credits it with saving him from excruciating pain daily.

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    Senior Member Array Sergeant Mac's Avatar
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    It will mostly help with flexibility, balance and coordination. Should be useful for strengthening connective tissues. Not so much with muscles, and not at all for aerobic conditioning.

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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Rhome, when you get back to the states try a recumbent bike or trike. Easy on back and for me, much easier on my poor knees. Don't know if you can get one in the islands there but if you can might be worth a try.

    As for Tai Chi like everyone above said. Great for mobility, coordination, etc but not much weight loss.
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    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Yes on the mobility and coordination, etc., but I think it will also help with weight loss. If you perform Tai Chi correctly, you will break a sweat. Just because it's slow doesn't mean it's not working you out. Those slow movements are because they have every muscle in complete control, which can be pretty strenuous. Granted, you won't lose as much as other methods, but there is some benefit.

    Tai Chi Aids Weight Loss, Boosts Immune System

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    I agree on the cycling part; I have dropped about 40 pounds after being diagnosed with sleep apnea; I quit running because of the fact that all of my fathers' friends who followed Jim Fixx and got addicted to running back in the '70s have now had all of their knees replaced, which I have been assured is the most painful experience one can have after surgery. I cycle now when the weather is good, about 10 miles per trip. Another low impact workout you can do is try an Alpine, or elliptical trainer. I use that thing when the weather is not so good.....

    Good luck , and stay with it!
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    Senior Member Array Rhome's Avatar
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    Yeah, I would like greater mobility with the hopes of being able to take longer walks later. Right now if I walk around the block my knees are killing me by the time I get back home and am having to ice them down. U.S. Doc's have me on Vicoden and Ibuprofen for pain and swelling and I'd really like to be able to cut down on the usuage. I do have a high tolerance to pain so when I take the meds I really am hurting.
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    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    Using an Elliptical machine is supposed to burn calories fast and be very easy on the knees. Also a low carb diet (Adkins, south beach, Glycemic Index) will drop the pounds w/ little exercise. It takes a few weeks to get used to it and damn you miss bread and pasta, but I lost 45 lbs in 11mos and my wife lost 65lbs (she actually exercised).
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    Member Array senseiturtle's Avatar
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    You're doing an excellent job! The walks, though painful, are an excellent start.

    Tai Chi will not help you with weight loss, but it will certainly help you with balance, coordination, reversing some bone loss, muscle tone (slight), flexibility, and over time, joint durability.

    For weight loss (we'll say specifically, fatty tissue loss) the only way that's going to happen is by creating a calorie deficit... that is, consuming less calories than you need. Your body will look to other sources (fat and muscle) to sustain itself, and you're going to lose weight. That's the plain and simple version, but we want to feel better and look good, so we want to be sure that we burn as much fat as possible.

    The BEST exercise you can possibly get is actually weight lifting. When you lift, you are definitely burning a bunch of calories in and of itself. Increasing your muscle mass will increase your daily calorie demand. I would start reading up on the topic (much available) because it sounds like your body type would gain strength VERY quickly. Play to your genetic advantages! Super skinny guys might take months to develop the strength you get in a few weeks. If your knees are bad, then focus on arm exercises.

    As far as diet is concerned... fiber is undigestable, and helps you feel full. I have fiber bars I got from Sam's/walmart which help me to feel full on less calories. Protein provides roughly the same energy content as sugar, but will help you to build muscle at the same time (helping to making sure your weight loss is fat, not muscle), and is better for "feeling full." I don't know what your current diet's like, but dropping to 2000 in steps ( 3000 until simply not hungry, then 2500 until not hungry, etc.) over a few weeks will suffice. Shoot for under 60g fat per day. Obviously no cokes/candies/chips, and if MUST go for fast food, research before you buy.

    Balance is key. Atkins has a few things right, but if you cut out carbs completely, you're going to suffer some pretty nasty effects. The glycemic index is valuable, especially in larger folks, since they're very likely to develop Type II diabetes. The "optimum" diet varies from individual to individual, but 2000-2500 calories spread in 40% carbs / 40% protein / 20% fat... with healthy fiber and a multivitamin... is something to work towards.

    I just can't stress how much better you're going to feel when it's all said and done. You may never reach the published "healthy weights", but hell, if you're 250 lbs with perfect blood chemistry and reasonably good shape, you're far ahead of the curve. The hardest part is the first 6 weeks, breaking old habits and making new ones. After that, you'll look forward to those workouts.

  12. #11
    Member Array senseiturtle's Avatar
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    In addition-

    Studies aren't very conclusive, but there is some anecdotal evidence that certain supplements might help you with your joint pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin are the two that come to mind. These reportedly slow down tendon/ligament damage that comes from repetitive damage, such as from walking or running.

    As far as I know, can't hurt! Certainly look it up, and if it doesn't help, can always stop.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array joleary223's Avatar
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    Try Swimming, it's supposed to be zero impact on the joints and a great aerobic workout.
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