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Home / Articles / Columnists / Kung Fu Connection /  The Vital Role of Leg Strength and Balance in Longevity: Insights from Tai Chi Practice
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Monday, April 8,2024

The Vital Role of Leg Strength and Balance in Longevity: Insights from Tai Chi Practice

By ShifuRoberto Baptista  

Much has been discussed about the numerous benefits of regular Tai Chi ( , Tijíquán) practice. However, one of the most significant benefits often receives less attention: the strengthening of leg muscles. Leg muscles and leg strength are incredibly important for health, independence, and active longevity.

Numerous studies have found that a low amount of muscle mass is linked to a shorter lifespan and a more disease-prone old age. Even functional and cognitive abilities are impacted by the lack of leg muscles!

Research conducted by King’s College London has shown that the legs, which comprise the largest muscle group in the human body, play a crucial role in maintaining cognitive functions. Keeping leg muscles strong is at the top of the list of the most important and essential factors for longevity. Indeed, the calf muscles are considered a kind of “second heart” of our body, as their contraction and relaxation efficiently pump blood back to the heart. Therefore, the stronger the legs, the more they can contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system.

In the natural aging process, as the years pass, everyone spontaneously loses muscle mass, whether they are physically active or not. Thus, it is essential to maintain appropriate physical activity to prevent such loss from occurring at an accelerated rate. Regular Tai Chi practice has proven to be one of the best solutions, and not only for strengthening the legs. People with weaker muscles have a 60 percent higher chance of dying from any cause compared to stronger individuals. Tai Chi practice also contributes to improving balance, which decreases the chances of falls – responsible for 70 percent of accidental deaths in people over 75 years old.

Tai Chi is often referred to as meditation in motion, but it is much more than that; it is health through movement, as it strengthens the legs, and improves both physical and emotional balance. These are fundamental points for active longevity.

Your future self will thank you for embracing this age-old practice. We invite you to contact us and schedule a free trial class (see contact information above). Come discover how Tai Chi can enrich your life in ways you never imagined, and unlock your healthier future today with Tai Chi.

Shifu Roberto Baptista is a Coral Springs, FL-based Tai Chi Master with 40-plus years of experience. For inquires please contact at (954) 507-4535 or visit www.kungfuconnection.net.

 

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