Cardiovascular diseases—like other chronic illnesses—often bring with them a myriad of negative symptoms, both physical and mental. Psychological distress is not uncommon, and as such, it’s important for patients to seek out gentle activities to improve their overall quality of life. As studios around the country begin to open back up, they can consider signing up for classes in their area. (If you’re new to the practice, you’ll want to learn from an instructor to prevent injury.) Once you get the hang of the movements, consider checking out online classes like mindbodygreen’s The Complete Guide To Tai Chi with Michael Taylor.
Taylor-Piliae adds that anyone, regardless of heart health, can benefit from this gentle, restorative practice. “Tai chi is well suited for people of any age or exercise ability and can be safely adapted for anybody,” she says. “If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, or are affected by another heart condition, I would strongly recommend adding tai chi to your recovery and rehabilitation. There are physical benefits like improved balance and it’s good for mental health too.”