From the Newsletter of Johns Hopkins Medicine-
If you have mild to moderate heart failure, the ancient Chinese exercise tai chi may help improve your mood, your ability to exercise independently and your quality of life, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Volume 171, page 750).
Investigators randomly assigned 100 people, average age 67 years, with mild to moderate heart failure to attend tai chi classes for 12 weeks or traditional classes on diet, exercise, medication use and other self-management strategies. Participants in the tai chi group learned a simplified Yang style of tai chi. Both groups received educational materials and the tai chi group also received an instructional video and was encouraged to practice at home at least three times a week.
On average, tai chi participants attended 75 percent of their classes, while those in the standard group attended about 66 percent of their sessions. Those in the tai chi group reported practicing at home for an average of 10 hours each week.
Take-away thought.After 12 weeks, the tai chi group showed significant improvements in indexes used to measure quality of life and mood disturbances and in their ability to exercise independently. Tai chi is a safe complement to standard therapy for heart failure. If you want to give tai chi a try, get clearance from your doctor first.