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(6 pages total)

Page 2 - Taiji in the Workplace

Taijiquan History

Taijiquan is based on the philosophy of Lao Tzu. This revered philosopher believed that life is in constant flux, and in order to live productive, healthy, and balanced, one needs to understand the importance of yielding and going with the flow of life. Westerners have been more often than not taught to resist, persist at all costs, overcome, and "go for the burn" in our struggle to tackle our problems at work, in exercise, sport, or in our personal lives. Taijiquan emphasizes the power and the value of relaxation, yielding, and flexibility.

Ideal for the Workplace

Taijiquan makes the most practical of choices for fitness in the workplace, because you are practicing important principles needed for making clear thinking decisions while at the same time securing a complete and sensible workout. Taijiquan is based on natural law. The dynamics of a healthy productive organization incorporates these laws also. You can avoid burn-out through balanced, well thought through procedures and good defensive and offensive strategies while keeping the mind and body in a responsive mode.

Taijiquan is so simple to incorporate that it is surprising that more companies have not instituted this sensible program for keeping their employees fit. On a practical note, there is no need for expensive gymnasiums, equipment, showers, or uniforms. An employee can come dressed to work in easy to move in clothing and low flat shoes the day of Taijiquan class. A forty-five minute to an hour-long class refreshes, relaxes, and re- energizes you without the pain or strain of more bombastic kinds of exercise programs.

Taiji vs. Walking

Recent findings demonstrate that workouts that are not tough on the body and that last approximately twelve minutes in duration have positive health benefits. This description fits Taijiquan to a tee. Dr. James M. Rippe, a researcher at University of Massachusetts medical school has been "the leading researcher on walking, helping to legitimize its use as an exercise".(4)

The dropout rate for most offered exercise programs today is high according to an article in American Health. According to the study, "25% don't appear for their first session while another 25% quit within a week."(5) It's understandable why so many companies find that they end up catering to only a small number of participants over and over again while the "couch potato" types refrain from getting actively involved.

Rippe's research demonstrates that we can get immediate benefits from less exercise than originally thought to be true. It is impressive to see that positive results have been experienced on even the first day for reducing stress and blood pressure when moderate forms of exercise, such as walking, are used. This information directly correlates with performing the Taijiquan short or simplified forms which last about ten to fifteen minutes depending on how slowly you perform the integrated movements.

Taijiquan is a very sophisticated and intelligent exercise program. It uses the power of the legs to shift your weight while the arms raise and lower in various full rounded movements. The long held exercise prescription of about 20 to 60 minutes a day, three to five days a week to get positive results proves too intimidating to many persons. Unfortunately, the result is that these individuals don't get involved at all and become spectators in life.

Taijiquan is a perfect alternative choice for those reluctant individuals, the older employee, the overweight worker, as well as the triathlon type of individual who is seeking perfection in his/her technique and performance. All participants receive benefits for obtaining good health practices that can be practiced daily for a lifetime.

You can perform Taijiquan well into your eighties and nineties and receive its life sustaining health care benefits. Could the same be said for jogging, weight lifting, and aerobic dancing?

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