12-week concurrent brisk walking and Taijiquan (Tai Chi) improve balance, flexibility, and muscular strength of Chinese older women

Author: Xiaorong Bai1, Wensheng Xiao1, Kim Geok Soh2, Agudamu3,4, Yang Zhang5
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> School of Physical Education, Huzhou University, Huzhou, China. <sup>2</sup> Department of Sports Studies, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia. <sup>3</sup> Graduate School of Social Welfare, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea. <sup>4</sup> Institute of Sports and Health Industry, HEHA CAT Fitness, Changsha, China. <sup>5</sup> Independent person, Windermere, Florida, United States of America.
Conference/Journal: PLoS One
Date published: 2023 Oct 26
Other: Volume ID: 18 , Issue ID: 10 , Pages: e0293483 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0293483. , Word Count: 189

Healthy aging is a global goal to enhance the quality of life for older persons. This study evaluated the benefits of 12-week concurrent brisk walking and Taijiquan. Healthy Chinese women aged 60 years and above were enrolled to the control (n = 26) and intervention (n = 25) groups. Participants in the intervention group engaged in three exercise sessions per week for 12 weeks, whereas control group engaged in free-living activities. Each exercise session consisted of 20-45 minutes of walking and 20-45 minutes of Yang style 24-form Taijiquan. 12-week exercise improved (p < 0.05) the sit and reach test (within-group mean difference: +5.6 cm; Hedges' g = 0.77), handgrip strength (mean difference: +3.1 kg; g = 0.89), arm curl (mean difference: +2.1 repetitions; g = 0.69), chair stand (mean difference: +2.6 repetitions; g = 0.63), and one-legged standing (mean difference: +2.2 seconds; g = 1.07). There was no improvement in the circulatory health, body composition, or life satisfaction. Therefore, this concurrent brisk walking and Taijiquan training, which targets major whole-body muscle groups, could improve aging-critical flexibility, muscular fitness, and balance in older women. The exercise meets the current WHO guideline, is safe to perform, and could be campaigned as a health promotion for older persons.

PMID: 37883372 PMCID: PMC10602331 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0293483