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Tai Chi as an Adjunct to Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Training

Taylor-Piliae, Ruth E. RN, CNS, MN

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention: March-April 2003 - Volume 23 - Issue 2 - p 90-96

Heart disease is a chronic condition needing lifetime secondary prevention measures to decrease morbidity and mortality, and to improve quality of life. Cardiac rehabilitation exercise training, one aspect of cardiac recovery, traditionally includes some form of aerobic fitness and, more recently, muscle strength training to improve exercise tolerance. Tai chi, widely practiced in China for centuries, is a popular form of exercise among older Chinese persons associated with enhanced well-being and health among traditional Chinese practitioners. Recent research has reported improvement in cardiorespiratory function, balance and postural stability, fall prevention, and stress reduction. A review of the literature suggests potential benefits from tai chi exercise performed as an adjunct to cardiac rehabilitation exercise training. Tai chi is cost-effective and facilitates a lifestyle of health-related behavior practices.

From the Department of Physiological Nursing, School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.

Address correspondence to: Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, RN, CNS, MN,1553-B Pershing Drive, San Francisco, CA 94129 (e-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.