Live hard, train soft

Notable voices in the fitness industry are pointing out the gap that Tai Chi can fill, we just need to make them notice it


Joel Snape of the always excellent Live Hard blog has written a rather nice piece for The Telegraph about a new exercise class called Flatline, and the problem with health trends like this that promote the idea that you have to almost kill yourself to exercise.

He surmises the problem simply and elegantly as:

“every time you post a ‘Go hard or go home’ meme on your Twitter feed, someone chooses ‘home’. There are biscuits there.”

The problem is making exercise seem difficult just puts people off. And that’s dangerous since most of us could use a bit more exercise for the sake of our health, and as a society the amount we have to spend on corrective measures in hospital once it’s already too late is slowly strangling our NHS.

As Joel says:

“…if all you want to do is trim down, reduce your risk of Parkinson’s or be able to play five-a-side with your kids without wheezing, please believe me when I tell you that it doesn’t need to be hard at all.

Move around a bit more, eat a bit better, drink more water and sleep a lot. …”

And, I would add, try Tai Chi.

You see, Tai Chi is “moving around a bit more”, it isn’t difficult and almost anybody can do it. It isn’t just for old people, or Chinese people, or hippies.  And you don’t need any equipment or gym membership to do it. Just need a bit of time with no distractions and some space. Essentially, it’s the missing piece of the puzzle for the fitness industry.

In my utopian vision of the future, everyone will be doing 10 minutes of Tai Chi in the morning, so we all leave the house refreshed and feeling in perfect harmon, ready to spread peace and love with everybody we meet… Ok, this possibly sounds like a dystopian nightmare, but at least think the gap in the fitness industry has been identified – it just needs Tai Chi to have an image makeover so it can fill it.

Maybe I’ll call it Flatline Tai Chi….



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