Tai Chi May Help Reduce Dangerous Belly Fat in People Over 50

Tai Chi May Help Reduce Dangerous Belly Fat in People Over 50

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Hitting the gym may not be the only way to attack extra inches that accumulate around the waistline. A study published in May in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that tai chi may be just as effective for slimming down the midsection of people 50 and older as group workouts offered in many gyms.

The research included 380 people in Hong Kong who participated in either a 12-week tai chi program, a regular exercise program, or no intervention. Compared with those not participating in an activity, people in the tai chi and conventional exercise programs dropped centimeters off their waists after the three months of the intervention and sustained the reduction more than six months later.

“Our study suggests that tai chi can be an effective alternative to conventional exercise in the management of central obesity,” says the lead study author, Parco Siu, PhD, an associate professor and the head of the division of kinesiology at the school of public health and the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong.

Central obesity (a high distribution of fat around the midsection and abdomen) carries health risks even among people with an otherwise normal body weight or BMI. This is particularly true for women after menopause, who have higher mortality rates from heart disease, cancer, and other causes even if their BMIs is in the normal weight range, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in July 2019.

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