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J Aging Res. 2011 Apr 11;2011:234696. doi: 10.4061/2011/234696.

Effects of tai chi training on antioxidant capacity in pre- and postmenopausal women.

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Faculté des Sciences du Sport, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, 261 Route de Grenoble, 06205 Nice, France.


The risk of oxidative stress-related metabolic diseases increases with menopause and physical inactivity. We hypothesized that an 8-week Tai Chi (TC) training program (2 sessions in class; 2 sessions at home; 1-1:15/session) would improve antioxidant capacity and reduce cardiovascular risks in both pre- (n = 8) and postmenopausal (n = 7) sedentary women. Selected measures of physical fitness and blood parameters were analyzed before and after the program. Besides the well-known effects of TC on balance, flexibility, and maximum leg extensor strength, TC (1) increased erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity-an aerobic training-responsive antioxidant enzyme-and plasma total antioxidant status and (2) decreased plasma total homocysteine, a cardiovascular risk marker. In addition to being a low-velocity, low-impact, and relatively safe, TC is a suitable physical activity design for pre- and postmenopausal women to increase antioxidant defenses. Investigating breathing effects during TC movements would be an interesting area for further research in diseases prevention.

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