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Do Tai Chi or Qigong While You Golf, Run, or Swim

May 25, 2010 - The National Physical Fitness and Sports Month may be winding down now, yet with months of warmer weather ahead, people are more geared up for outdoor sports. While Tai Chi and Qigong can be practiced as stand-alone activities in amiable outdoor settings, you can also immerse them in other sports, such as golf, running, and swimming. And there are experts emerged in each immersion field.

Chi and Golf

Improving the coordination of the arms, the waist and the legs during movements, relaxing muscles, and improving balance - these are the main reasons for the synergy between Tai Chi/Qigong and golf.

A study published by the journal Medicine and science in sports and exercise in 2004 shows that among elderly subjects, the experienced Tai Chi practitioners and the experienced golfers both have much better joint proprioceptive acuity and dynamic standing balance control than those who do not practice either of these two activities.

Building upon such synergy, there have emerged some programs integrating Tai Chi movements into golf practice. The most prominent one among them is probably chi-power GOLF, which is used by the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA). The program was developed by Jayne Storey, a Tai Chi teacher in the U.K. who has been practicing Yang Style Tai Chi since 1987.

You can find comprehensive information about chi-power GOLF on its website http://www.chipowersports.com.

Chi and Running

In the world of Tai Chi/Qigong for runners, the counterpart of chi-power GOLF is ChiRunning, a method developed by a nationally ranked ultra-marathon runner, Danny Dreyer.

Several years ago, Dreyer got the idea for ChiRunning after taking some Tai Chi classes from a friend. Both Tai Chi and Qigong use mind to harness the body's energy, which inspired Dreyer to apply this philosophy to running. Soon he felt revolutionary changes in both his running experience and his running performance.

The principle of the ChiRunning method is to make runners focus on posture, form, breathing, and mind so that they can experience running as an injury-free, effortless, and enjoyable activity.

Dreyer's ChiRunning method has received coverage from major media including USA Today and Time magazine. Its official website, http://www.chirunning.com, is the best source for further information.

Chi and Swimming

Breathing is one of the fundamental techniques that a swimmer needs to master, and that is exactly what the profound breathing exercises from Tai Chi and Qigong can help for swimmers to strengthen their skills.  Some people who do both Tai Chi and swimming also think the Tai Chi forms help them to make smoother strokes when swimming.

A very good program of doing Tai Chi in water was developed by Julie Andrews, who is both a swimming instructor certified by the Aquatic Exercise Association and Tai Chi instructor certified by Dr. Paul Lam, one of ATCQA's advisors. You can click here to watch her demonstrate Water Tai Chi on YouTube.

 

 


 
 

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