With limited opportunities to stay active at the moment, Kevin Price from Red Dragon Fitness in Malvern gives us a video introduction to a centuries old exercise called Qigong.
Pronounced 'chee-gong', Qigong is an ancient exercise that typically involves moving meditation, coordinating gentle, slow-flowing sequenced movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and a calm meditative state of mind.
People practice Qigong throughout China and worldwide for recreation, exercise, relaxation and self-healing. The practice is an especially beneficial exercise in retirement, but is a great exercise choice for just about anyone who’s looking to improve their range of motion and can potentially even help prevent and manage many different health problems.
Qigong requires no equipment, can be performed just about anywhere, and can be tailored to an individual’s needs depending on their goals and physical abilities. Much of it is performed while standing, though there are a number of seated sets as well for people who prefer to need to follow chair exercises. With 2000 year old roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (pronounced as "chi"), or "life energy".
A report by the American Journal of Health Promotion found people practicing Qigong enjoyed significant benefits including better bone density, cardiopulmonary effects, physical functioning, reduced falls and related risk factors, improved quality of life, lower psychological symptoms and better immune function.
Session 1 starts with a general warm up followed by 5 exercises that form part of the 18 stances of Qigong, Yin & Yang gate.
Session 2 is a recap on breathing technique for best energy flow, followed by some further Qigong exercises.
Qigong has proven health benefits, including:
- lowers your blood pressure and improves heart health
- lowers your risk of falling & injuries in older adults
- reduces negative effects of stress
- improves immunity and cancer protection
- reduces chronic pain
Find more health and wellbeing advice on Audley Stories.
More tips on how to stay active on our 30 day wellness calendar