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Culture-Specific Exercise Sparks Interest of Older Women

Armen Hareyan's picture

ORLANDO, Feb. 18 - Getting older Americans to exercise isn't always easy, but exercise programs in tune with a culture create interest and increase adherence, researchers in a pilot study reported at the Second International Conference on Women, Heart Disease and Stroke.

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University of California San Francisco School of Nursing researchers provided a 12-week Tai Chi exercise program to older Chinese women who had one major risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Most exercise programs for women with coronary heart disease have high dropout rates, but 96 percent of participants completed the Tai Chi program, and there was a waiting list to join.

"Tai Chi has been widely practiced in China for centuries, and is a popular form of exercise there," said Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, a doctoral candidate in the School of Nursing at UCSF.