Tai Chi And Kung-Fu Practice Maintains Physical Performance But Not Vascular Health In Young Versus Old Participants

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Steven McAnulty PhD, Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Kung-Fu and Tai Chi along with other martial arts are gaining popularity but studies examining the benefits of martial arts on physical fitness, vascular health, nutrition, and psychological wellness are limited. Aging is associated with declines in these health components. The objectives of this study were to examine whether Tai Chi and Kung-Fu training would maintain physical fitness, vascular health, and psychological wellness components on older versus younger practitioners. Seventeen subjects were recruited and divided into Young (age <40 years, n=9) and Old (age 40 years and above, n=8). Participants reported twice for health screens, vascular and nutrition assessment, and fitness tests. Mean differences were compared between groups for all tests using Student’s t-tests. Age, months of practice, systolic blood pressure, and cardiovascular augmentation index were significantly greater in Old versus Young (p=0.001, p=0.007, p=0.049, and p=0.011, respectively). Psychologically, old practitioners experienced greater sleep interference (p=0.035) and overall pain (p=0.036). No other differences existed for any variable. Our study indicates that the practice of Tai Chi and Kung-Fu maintains physical fitness in older compared to younger practitioners. However, age associated changes in cardiovascular stiffness, systolic blood pressure, and pain were not prevented.

Additional Information

Steven McAnulty, Lisa McAnulty, Scott Collier, Tacito P. Souza-Junior & Jeffrey McBride (2016): Tai Chi and Kung-Fu practice maintains physical performance but not vascular health in young versus old participants, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 44:2, 184-189. DOI: 10.1080/00913847.2016.1158623. Publisher version of record available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00913847.2016.1158623
Language: English
Date: 2016
Martial arts, physical fitness, nutrition, cardiovascular health, psychological health

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