Tai Chi: Pursuit of Health

| 4/9/2009 4:09:14 PM

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In my role as senior associate editor for GRIT, I spend a lot of time reading and writing about food (you may have noticed – LOL). Food is and has always been an issue for me, and I struggle with my weight. As time passes, I’m becoming more aware of my health, of how I’m not taking care of myself, and that I’m the only one who can take of me. So, with diabetes and fibromyalgia at the top of my health concerns list, I’ve started taking steps in a more healthy direction.

On our Food Forum, I detail a bit of my life with diabetes. I mention that exercise is always a struggle. I found yoga – enjoyed it for a while – and then I discovered tai chi, and I’m hooked.

Tai chi offers a number of health benefits as well as exercise.

In this photo, a woman demonstrates tai chi during the Chinese Culture Days at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Photo is courtesy Josh Monken/Missouri Botanical Garden.

I suspect that food will always be an issue with me. Chocolate and other junk food choices seem to call the loudest when I’m stressed, tired or upset. So it seems to me that if I can deal with the stress in other ways, I might stand a chance against those yells from the peanut gallery known as the kitchen cupboard.

That’s why I sought out my city’s parks and recreation department’s classes. I’ve set aside the yoga mat for now, and I’m concentrating on tai chi. A weekly class keeps me moving one night a week. The rest of the week, I try to practice as much as I can. I figure any movement these days is a step in the right direction; my couch potato time is a big shorter these days, and that’s a good thing no matter how I look at it.

jean teller_1
4/23/2009 11:38:38 AM

Hi, Cindy! Yep, that's a good mantra to keep in mind. I try, and most of the time it works, but other times ..... I've been doing fairly well on practicing Tai Chi out in the backyard right after I get home from work. Being outside, with the fresh air and the late-day sunshine, is helpful for my indoors complexion. It's also nice to do a few reps of the form after it's gotten dark, out on the back slab (my house doesn't have a porch, just a cement square outside the back door), tho I stopped doing that when the annoying porchlights from other houses got to be too much! I might try it again, tho. Now if I can get motivated to do more "exercise," I might be able to pull off a few pounds!

cindy murphy
4/13/2009 6:52:10 AM

"Any hints on how I keep motivated and focused?" Follow Nike's advice, and "Just Do It." Because all the physical activities I enjoy are done outside, I sometimes find myself making excuses - it's too cold; it's too hot; I'm too tired and don't have time, or lately, it's just too darned windy. But when I really do run out of time, and there is no more daylight left, I always feel like kicking myself in the behind, (another great motivator for me - looking in the mirror at my behind), for not "just doing it" when I had the chance. Good luck, Jean. Have fun.

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