Effectiveness of Tai Chi for Reducing Belly Fat: Research Findings

According to a study, Tai chi replicates conventional exercise’s benefits by helping reduce waist circumference among middle-aged and older individuals who suffer from central obesity.

Abdominal obesity is an indicator of metabolic syndrome, an accumulation of risk factors including central hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, obesity, low HDL cholesterol levels and high blood pressure that increases cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk.

Participants were randomly divided into one of three exercise groups for 12 weeks: no-exercise control group; strength training/aerobic exercise combination group; or tai chi group.

Main desired endpoint was circumference of waist. Secondary outcomes included BMI, body weight, HDL cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and levels of fasting plasma glucose.

The study results demonstrate that Tai chi can be an effective strategy for combatting central obesity. The significance of this research lies in its translational value – as the results support the idea of including it into physical activity guidelines globally, for older and middle-aged individuals with central obesity.

Tai chi’s combination of movement and relaxation may explain this increase, as its practice helps lower cortisol levels – the stress hormone which promotes visceral fat storage – in the body.

Cortisol reduction may help lead to less belly fat storage and eventually cause the reduction of waist circumference.