Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 234696, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/234696
Research Article

Effects of Tai Chi Training on Antioxidant Capacity in Pre- and Postmenopausal Women

1Faculté des Sciences du Sport, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, 261 Route de Grenoble, 06205 Nice, France
2Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
3Faculty of Sports Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
4French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety, Maisons-Alfort, France

Received 8 August 2010; Revised 3 January 2011; Accepted 25 January 2011

Academic Editor: Ben Hurley

Copyright © 2011 Attakorn Palasuwan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

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- ( ) and postmenopausal ( ) 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.