How ancient Chinese technique can help improve your walking speed, posture and


Want to remain healthy as you get older? Just swing your arms! How an ancient Chinese technique can help improve your walking speed, posture and flexibility and make everyday tasks that much easier

  • Over 1,000-year-old exercise routine consists of sequence of five arm swings

Forget expensive gym memberships – the secret to a healthy old age could be as simple as swinging your arms.

Walking speed, posture and flexibility all improved in women who did a traditional Chinese arm-swinging exercise three times a week for two months, a study found.

The women, who were in their 60s and 70s, also found day-to-day activities, such as dressing and cooking, easier after practising Shuai Shou Gong. 

Even touching their toes was less of a stretch. 

Researcher Professor Neil Roberts, of Edinburgh University, said: ‘These findings demonstrate that the gentle, rhythmic, whole-body sequence of movements of Shuai Shou Gong may be readily learned and enjoyed by older adults and improves general health and wellbeing.’

The exercise routine, which is more than 1,000 years old, consists of a sequence of five arm swings. The first four involve swinging the arms back and then forward, to shoulder height

The exercise routine, which is more than 1,000 years old, consists of a sequence of five arm swings. The first four involve swinging the arms back and then forward, to shoulder height

During the fifth swing, you bend you knees twice ¿ once when swinging your arms back and again when bringing them forward. The sequence is then repeated multiple times

 During the fifth swing, you bend you knees twice – once when swinging your arms back and again when bringing them forward. The sequence is then repeated multiple times

The exercise routine, which is more than 1,000 years old, consists of a sequence of five arm swings. The first four involve swinging the arms back and then forward, to shoulder height. 

During the fifth swing, you bend you knees twice – once when swinging your arms back and again when bringing them forward. The sequence is then repeated multiple times.

The deceptively simple movements can provide a wealth of benefits. The knee bends strengthen the muscles in the hips and thighs. 

Swinging the arms stimulates the nerves, tendons and muscles around the shoulder, the journal Plos One reports.

In the first study of its kind, 56 women aged between 60 and 80 were divided into two groups. 

Professor James Goodwin (pictured), of Exeter University, said using Shuai Shou Gong 'would confer many benefits in the general population'

Professor James Goodwin (pictured), of Exeter University, said using Shuai Shou Gong ‘would confer many benefits in the general population’

One attended 40-minute-long Shuai Shou Gong classes three times a week for two months. 

The second group went about their lives as normal. Afterwards, the arm-swingers saw benefits in posture, gait and flexibility.

They also found daily tasks easier and felt more confident. The other group saw no improvements – and their walking actually deteriorated.

Professor James Goodwin, of Exeter University, said using Shuai Shou Gong ‘would confer many benefits in the general population’. 

He added: ‘It would maintain quality of life, contribute to good mental health and may even slow down general ageing.’



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