This study is the first to our knowledge to assess the acute effects of TCC practice on sympathetic activity in older adults. TCC performance led to acute decreases in sympathetic activity, which could not be explained by physical activity alone. Further study is needed to determine whether the acute salutary effects of TCC on autonomic functioning are sustained with ongoing practice in older adults.
Tai Chi Chih can be considered a useful nonpharmacologic approach to improve sleep quality in older adults with moderate complaints and, thereby, has the potential to ameliorate sleep complaints possibly before syndromal insomnia develops.
Complementary use of a mind–body exercise, such as TCC, may provide additional improvements of clinical outcomes in the pharmacologic treatment of geriatric depression.
Tai Chi Chih (TCC) can be considered a useful behavioral intervention to reduce circulating levels of IL-6 in older adults who show elevated levels of this inflammatory marker and are at risk for inflammation-related morbidity.
Programs of moderate intensity aerobic exercise and light exercise may have similar effects on blood pressure in previously sedentary older individuals. If additional trials confirm these results, promoting light intensity activity could have substantial public health benefits as a means to reduce blood pressure in older aged persons.