New research finds Tai Chi could help heart attack patients to recover.
The ancient Chinese martial art could be an option to traditional rehab. Not actively taking part in rehabilitation can be dangerous and increases a patient’s risk of dying by 18%, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
For the study, 29 people who suffered a heart attack reported they had enjoyed participating in a Tai Chi class. The slow pace of Tai Chi encourages people to continue with the exercise, researchers have found. The only notable side effect they experienced was minor muscular pain.
Brown University experts feel it could help immensely. "We thought that tai chi might be a good option for these people because you can start very slowly and simply," lead author of the study Dr Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher told the Daily Mail. "As their confidence increases, the pace and movements can be modified to increase intensity. Tai Chi exercise can reach low-to-moderate intensity levels," she added.
However, the researchers warned it is not to replace conventional rehabilitation, as it did not help the patients’ aerobic fitness, the report revealed. Professor Salmoirago-Blotcher told the Daily Mail: "On its own, Tai Chi wouldn't obviously replace other components of traditional cardiac rehabilitation." Adding, "If proven effective in larger studies, it might be possible to offer it as an exercise option within a rehab centre as a bridge to more strenuous exercise."
The study was originally published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.