Look to Tai Chi for Prediabetes Exercise

Many people with prediabetes are overweight and have a metabolism that tends to promote food cravings. The good news – Tai Chi Chuan is a special form of exercise that promotes well being while controlling hunger.

tai chi balance poseTai Chi  Chuan is an internal martial art that is widely based on the theory of Chinese medicine and is steeped in martial history. The art works to gently to bring our body back to homeostasis, using gentle movement exercises known as Qigong or form work, that work on the meridian pathways of our body. The meridian pathways are rather like roads that are  connected to internal organs, that allow the free flow of vital energy known a Qi around the whole body. When this energy is flowing correctly and the meridian pathways are unblocked it helps to give us a total feeling of complete wellness.

A significant study on Tai Chi was undertaken at the Chia-Yi Christian Hospital in Taiwan. After only one Yang style Tai Chi session, 26 individuals with an average age of 60 years were tested for levels of adiponectin in their blood.

Adiponectin has a significant effect on controlling body weight and has been shown to help control unnecessary cravings for food. It works in tandem with leptin which is a hormone also produced by your fat cells that lets you know when you have eaten. In a nut shell, they work together to regulate metabolism controlling food cravings. When the levels of adiponectin and leptin are working well together your body weight can be controlled. They let you know when you have eaten enough. It is known that in cases of obesity the levels of adiponectin are reduced. Losing weight and exercise actually help stimulate these hormone levels.

Research has also shown that prediabetics with low adiponectin levels are more likely to develop full-blown diabetes. Women tend to have higher levels of adiponectin than men, and people with Diabetes tend to have lower levels than those who do not have Diabetes.

What is Yang style Tai Chi Chuan?

Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan is a common form of contemporary Tai Chi founded by Yang Lu Chan beginning in the early 1800s with several generations of his family all working together over subsequent years to develop and spread Tai Chi . Yang Style Tai Chi consists of carefully structured graceful movements that are relaxed, and flowing, while still maintaining the martial arts tradition from which it developed. Among the Chinese it is known as a method for improving health and alleviating illness.
After only one Tai Chi session adiponectin levels were found to be increased. These findings are amazing as other studies on other types of exercise were found to have no significant effect on the levels of adiponectin or were even found to reduce them.

Fat burning made easy!

The individuals in the research study had been practicing Tai Chi for between 3 months to two years. Blood samples were taken before and after only one session. The sessions were for 1 hour both resting seated and one week later a one hour standing Tai Chi exercise session. It was found that after only one hour practice of Tai Chi, levels of blood tested proved a significant effect on levels of adiponectin found in their blood. Other studies of Tai Chi tested over more weeks have found positive effects on BMI and insulin levels in the metabolism.

My Personal View

Tai Chi Chuan exercise has a wonderful calming effect on both the mind and body; it is a safe, low impact exercise that can be done by all ages and body sizes. True Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong is both challenging physically and mentally. If you have not exercised for some time always consult your Physician if you are concerned about your health before exercising. Tai Chi really helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which acts to bring under control mind, body and breath. This is why it is thought to have such a significant effect on the metabolism.

So if you want to stop then reverse prediabetes, Tai Chi can help to reduce your weight and control those food cravings!

Gary Webb MChS

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About Gary Webb

Gary Webb is a qualified HCPC registered Podiatrist with a Post Graduate Certificate in Musculoskeletal Medicine and Biomechanics. He is a full member of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists which is the premier Podiatry Association in the UK. He is very experienced in many aspects of Podiatry and has a keen interest in Podiatric Biomechanics (postural related problems). His treatment approach is always centred on the individual, taking all the aspects of their lifestyle into consideration. Gary also has an extensive background in Martial arts that has driven his desire to take on challenges such as Tai Chi.

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