Level 2 of No 49, Lot 113 Lorong Tun Abdul Razak, Off Jalan Padungan, 93400 Kuching.
Taichi Tai Chi Quan Chuan Taiji kungfu kung gongfu gong martial art exercise healthy training
Quotes of the Day
The secrete to stay healthy: learn and practice Taiji
The philosophy of practice: spare an hour for yourself on Taiji, then your can spend the rest of your day for you career, your family...
The objective in practice: use your mind and not force, stay vertical and relax
by Rintos Mail
email@example.com. Posted on March 29, 2015, Sunday
SOME may consider exercise a nuisance, a chore, or simply a
bore. But if one has been diagnosed with
Type 2 diabetes, one may need to look at physical activity in a whole new
light. Now, exercising has been
acknowledged worldwide as a tool to control diabetes. Just like taking a drug or altering
one’s diet, exercise can lower blood sugar on its own even if one does not lose
Although its benefit has been
acknowledged throughout the world, exercising is still the most under-used
treatment among us here. In fact, exercising has been found to be very powerful
in controlling diabetes, a few studies have claimed.
Malaysian Diabetic Association Sarawak secretary
Daniel Voon said tai chi is one of the good forms of exercise to control
diabetes. He believes tai chi works in the same way as other
mind-body therapies, and there is ample evidence that paying attention to the
connection between the mind and the body can relieve stress, combat disease,
and enhance physical well-being. Tai chi has three major components — movement,
meditation, and deep breathing.
Voon said he used to do the 18-step tai chi but
has stopped due to age. “I’m 83 now and at my age, the 18 steps are too
much for me. I did it for a long time before but stopping as I could no longer
cope,” admitted Voon, who has lived with diabetes for 28 years.
He said instead of doing all the
steps, he modified some in order to continue with his daily exercise.
He does a few steps for about five
minutes before continuing with walking or jogging for another 10 minutes. “I’m doing exercise every day,” said
the former lecturer of the then Batu Lintang Teachers College.
Voon took up tai chi after a bladder operation in
1990. Before that, his fitness regime included swimming and badminton.
“Because I couldn’t swim and play
badminton after my operation, I decided to do light exercise. I learnt the 18
steps of tai chi in Tabuan Jaya. They are for the older people like me,” he
Tai chi is a gentle exercise with slow, deliberate
movements, meditation and deep breathing, believed to enhance physical health
and emotional well-being. Voon shows the normal, pre-diabetes
and diabetic readings of blood sugar.
Need for balance
According to Voon, serious tai chi is based on
spiritual and philosophical ideas that advocate a need for balance in body,
mind and spirit. “My modified tai chi exercise also
suits the older people because we don’t have to run. We just stand and move a
little bit but it can still burn glucose if we do it seriously.” Voon said tai chi could be done in a
sitting position, adding that while sitting, one could still move, breathe and
meditate, and the movement involved is also a form of exercise.
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art combining
diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation with soft, gentle movements. It is
considered moderate exercise, previously shown to improve immune system
response in contrast to strenuous physical activity which depresses it.
Previous studies have shown tai chi
improves respiratory and cardiovascular function while improving flexibility
and relieving stress.Voon said the United States is
already introducing tai chi as a health-enhancing activity while a few studies
had suggested tai chi could help control diabetes.
According to a University of Florida
study, a regular tai chi exercise programme may help lower blood glucose
levels, allowing people with diabetes to better control their condition. Looking at adults with Type 2
diabetes, the study found that participants, following a supervised tai chi
exercise programme two days a week, supplemented with three days of home
practice for six months, lowered their fasting blood glucose levels, better
managed their condition and improved their overall quality of life compared to
those at a much lower level of intervention. Earlier, two small studies published
in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in April 2008, found that tai chi
exercises could also improve blood glucose levels as well as the control of
Type 2 diabetes and immune system response.
In 2009, researchers at the
University of Florida studied 62 Korean women assigned to one of two groups — a
control group and an exercise group that began regular practice of tai
Those who completed the tai chi
sessions showed significant improvement in blood sugar control. They also
reported increased vitality, energy and mental health.
Voon said tai chi is great for patients who do not
like to exercise and those who could not participate in games and sports.
The style and movements of tai chi
are very slow, circular and fluid, and this is a good way for patients to think
Two types of exercise
There are two main types of exercise — aerobic and
anaerobic. According to Voon, tai chi belongs to the former.Aside from tai chi, other aerobic
exercises include running, dancing, games and sports whereas anaerobic
exercises work the muscles like in weightlifting. Voon said all aerobic exercises
worked better for diabetics as they enhance the entry of glucose into cells,
even without insulin, and increase cell metabolism. “This results in the breakdown of
glucose to provide energy, and therefore, the lowering of glucose. This is
clearly shown again and again when we measure people’s blood sugar before and
Voon pointed out that exercise and
training increased muscle bulk, which in turn increased the utilisation of
glucose and further lowered blood sugar. He said aerobic exercise actually
helped burn glucose as it used a lot of oxygen whereas anaerobic exercise did
not. “Therefore the latter does not help
diabetics much,” he noted. Voon also said most Type 2 diabetes
came about because the visceral fat or the inner fat was markedly increased
where people tended to look overweight and obese.
“When the visceral fat becomes too
much, it causes insulin resistance as if one is short of insulin. That’s why,
we ask people to keep reducing weight because when the inner fat is reduced,
the insulin is better.”
He said insulin opened up cells to
the entry of glucose, adding that cells used glucose to metabolise — which then
produced energy. He noted if cells lacked glucose,
they might starve and die.
So, if you have diabetes, exercise
offers surprising benefits. As it lowers your stress levels, it also lowers
your blood sugar level.
The right exercise regime
But how much exercise is right for
you? For diabetics, Voon recommends at
least three times a week, each taking about 30 minutes. Exercise is so important for people
with diabetes that the Malaysian Diabetes Association Sarawak branch invites
patients in Kuching to join them for aerobic exercise at its premises compound
at Jalan Maxwell at 5.30pm every Friday. For patients wishing to work out on
their own, there are many exercises that will benefit them as well such as
walking, jogging, tai chi and swimming. Because anyone can do it almost
anywhere, walking is the most popular form of exercise. Thirty minutes to one
hour of brisk walking, three times a week is a great and easy way to increase
your physical activity. It is also reported that swimming
stretches and relaxes the muscles and doesn’t put pressure on the joints, which
is great for diabetics. For those with diabetes or at risk
of developing diabetes, studies show swimming improves cholesterol levels,
burns calories and lowers stress levels. To get the most benefit from
swimming, it is recommended that patients swim at least three times a week for
at least 10 minutes and gradually increase the length of the workout.
As for dancing, it is believed to be
great for the body not only physically as the mental work to remember dance
steps and sequences actually boosts brain power and improves memory.
For diabetics, dancing is a fun and
exciting way to increase physical activity, promote weight loss, improve
flexibility, lower blood sugar and reduce stress. Voon pointed out that aerobic
exercise not only reduces blood sugar but also preserves the heart. He said during exercise, the heart
becomes stronger and exercise markedly reduces the chances of narrowing of
“Exercise not only strengthens the
heart but also protects the heart,” he added.