A significant study was undertaken at the Chia-Yi Christian Hospital in Taiwan. After only one Yang style Tai Chi session, 26 individuals with an average age of 60 were tested for levels of adiponectin in their blood. Adiponectin has a significant effect on controlling our body weight and helps control unnecessary cravings for food. After only one session the levels were found to be increased. These findings are amazing as other studies on other types of exercise were found to have no significant effect on the levels of adiponectin or were even found to reduce them.
What is Adiponectin?
Adiponectin is a fat burning hormone that helps regulate our body weight. It is a protein hormone produced by the fat cells of the body. It works in tandem with leptin which is a hormone also produced by our fat cells that lets us know when we have eaten. In a nut shell they combine together to control food cravings and to let us know when we have eaten enough. It is known that in cases of obesity the levels of adiponectin are reduced. Women tend to have higher levels than men in their blood stream. Individuals with Diabetes tend to have lower levels than those without the complaint. Indeed increased levels are thought to widely reduce the prevalence of getting Type 2 Diabetes. So it is widely assumed that adiponectin can help to control healthy levels of blood glucose, which supplies the body with its energy levels in order for it to function properly.
When the levels of adiponectin and leptin are working well together our body weight can be controlled. Losing Weight and exercise combine together to actually help stimulate these hormone levels.
Fat burning made easy!
The individuals tested had at least one cardiovascular risk factor. The individuals had been practicing Tai Chi for between 3 months to two years. Blood samples were taken before and after only one session. The sessions were for 1 hour both resting seated and one week later a 1 hour standing Tai Chi exercise session. It was found that after only one hour practice of Tai Chi, levels of blood tested proved a significant effect on levels of adiponectin found in their blood. Other studies of Tai Chi tested over more weeks have found positive effects on BMI and insulin levels in the metabolism.
My Personal View
Tai Chi exercise has a wonderful calming effect on both the mind and body; it is a safe, low impact exercise that can be done by all ages and body sizes. True Taijiquan and Qigong is both challenging physically and mentally. If you have not exercised for some time always consult your Physician if you are concerned about your health before exercising. Tai Chi really helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which acts to bring under control mind, body and breath. This is why it is thought to have such a significant effect on the metabolism.
Gary Webb MChS Podiatrist
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