Adhering to a Tai Chi Chuan exercise program improves vascular resistance and cardiac function

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Background: Cardiac function is an important predictor for life expectancy in elderly subjects. Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is a generalized tolerable exercise for the aged population. The current study evaluated the effects of TCC on the vascular compliance and resistance as well as cardiac function of a general healthy elderly population. Materials and methods: A total of 122 consecutive subjects were enrolled from the general population. Yang style TCC was practiced three times a week for 1 hour each session for a duration of 5 months. Subjects were categorized as "adherents" (n = 33) if they participated in >48 (80%) sessions, or as "non-adherents" (n = 34). Biochemistry data, including fasting glucose, serum cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid, were recorded before and after the 5-month intervention. Hemodynamic variables, including vascular compliance, resistance, cardiac output, stroke volume, and left ventricular ejection fraction, were obtained before and after the program using a Dynapulse 200 M monitor. Results: Serum triglyceride levels declined after TCC practice (the changes in triglycerides were -3.12 mg/dL and 18.8 mg/dL for the adherent and non-adherent groups, respectively; p = 0.03). Significant differences between the adherent and non-adherent groups existed in left ventricular contractility, cardiac output, cardiac index, stroke volume, and brachial artery compliance (p < 0.01; p = 0.01; p < 0.01; p < 0.01; p = 0.02, respectively). Conclusion: A 5-month TCC intervention can have a favorable impact on some biochemical indices of cardiovascular risk. This intervention can also have favorable effects upon hemodynamic parameters. These findings indicate that TCC intervention may offer enhanced cardioprotective effects in the aged population. Copyright © 2011, Taiwan Society of Geriatric Emergency & Critical Care Medicine. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.




Huang, Y. T., Wang, C. H., & Wu, Y. F. (2011). Adhering to a Tai Chi Chuan exercise program improves vascular resistance and cardiac function. International Journal of Gerontology, 5(3), 150–154.

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