Why Schools Should Introduce Tai Chi into Their Physical Education Curriculum

School Administrators around the country recognize the need to help students in their districts cope with significant amounts of stress. Creating a safe place for students to learn doesn't stop inside the classroom and some are looking toward alternative practices for helping their students adjust in preparation for adulthood.  

Adolescents Suffer from Significant Stress

Troubles at home, bullies, too much homework and peer pressure are just a few of the stressors that teens and young adults face everyday. A study about depression published in 2012 in the Journal for Clinical Psychological Science, found that rates of suicide attempts were significantly higher in adolescents ages 13-17 than in emerging adults (ages 18-23) or adults (24-30). We may not be able to remove all the stressors from their lives, but we can help them to manage their stress and empower themselves. 

Tai Chi is Great for Calming Our Minds

Much is known about the benefits of Tai Chi for stress relief and it has been attributed for boosting memory and cognitive function in the elderly. Yet we sometimes overlook the fact that children and young adults could benefit in the same way. With its slow dance-like movements, Tai Chi is great for calming our minds and allowing us to be in the moment. It's also beneficial for helping us breathe deep and find ourselves as we move from posture to posture. 

Tai Chi is Relatively Safe and Easy to Implement

Through years of experience and study we know Tai Chi to be an ideal choice when deciding what type of exercise component to include in your youth activities, partly because Tai Chi requires no special equipment and is inexpensive and easy to implement. Tai Chi also poses low to no risk of injury making it a great addition to kids' physical education programs .

The added benefits include:

  • students don’t need any preparation time for showering afterwards.
  • It reduces stress and improves their mental ability as well as physical health so they can focus in the classroom
  • Tai Chi can be done anywhere, indoors or outdoors

An increasing amount of research by the medical community provides growing evidence that Tai Chi has added value in the treatment or prevention of a range of health risks. Tai Chi provides a cardiovascular workout with minimal impact. It can also improve existing medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, allergies, asthma, as well as, improving posture and balance. This makes Tai Chi an ideal addition to physical education curriculums for schools looking for an alternative holistic practice to introduce into their schools.