What is Tae-do?
Tae-do is a special exercise program that uses some of the principles from the Korean martial art of Taekwondo and the latest scientific experiences and knowledge about the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. It is a combination of classic gymnastics for osteoporosis and elements of Taekwondo exercises that are based on the performance of controlled movements with energy-focused muscle contraction at a given movement. The name “Tae-do” comes from the Korean language. “Tae” means foot movement, or movement, and “do” means technique, in a figurative sense “tae-do” means an active attitude towards something, e.g. a disease.
The basic principles of Tae-do
- Tae-do exercises induce intermittent muscle contractions, thus alternating forces are applied to the bone. This is an important stimulus to bone remodeling. In fact, since the muscles have grips on the bones, forces of tension and pressures that are transmitted with each muscle contraction stimulate bone formation; passing on the information to the bones that they should strengthen at this point.
- The exercises are designed to activate all the muscles in the body which stimulate bone remodeling and enhance the quality of the entire skeleton.
- The movement exercises are controlled, thus avoiding the risk of injury to joints and muscles that can occur when performing sudden movements in individuals with less muscle mass and those who already have degenerative-deforming changes in the skeleton or some other disease.
- Tae-do exercises are divided into logical sequence that is easy to remember. This is motivating, interesting and easy so you can learn quickly and implement independently at home.
What are the benefits of Tae-do compared to classic exercise?
Finding the most rational way to harness the energy of the mind and body in the execution of movement is the basic principle on which Far East martial arts are based on. Although the ultimate goal of such skill is to prepare for a fight with a potential enemy, training techniques based on this principle have a much broader meaning, because they represent a way of striking a balance between body and mind, enabling the trainees to optimally move in space surrounding them. This exercise works through the entire system of motion, starting from the brain, where it creates “command” for a certain movement, to the nerve pathways through which this stimulus is transmitted to the muscles, which are the organs that perform the movement.
Tae-do affects the muscles and bones through muscle contractions as well as the balance and response system of movement. This is important for preventing possible falls that are especially dangerous in patients with osteoporosis since even small falls can lead to severe fractures.
When to start practicing Tae-do?
Tae-do as is a system of exercise suitable for patients with osteoporosis, osteopenia and other metabolic bone diseases, but also a universal system of exercises. It can be practiced by all people regardless of their gender and age. Therefore there are no limits as when to start with the exercises or quit with them. Given the role of Tae-do in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, it is best to start with the training before there is a serious consequence of disease, which means in all cases related to osteopenia. There are also Tae-do exercises that can be carried out in cases of severe osteoporosis, as well as with patients that project problems with movement. It is also applied with patients that were diagnosed with other chronic diseases e.g. chronic heart weakness, which limits physical activity.
Tae-do system of exercises is carried out through two groups or stages:
The first stage or “compulsory system of exercises” is intended for patients with movement difficulties or those who are not willing to spend a few hours a week in the sports hall and participate in the group training. It consists of a limited number of simple exercises that are repeated in a specific order. All exercises are done sitting. They are simple, controlled and easy to remember. They are designed in such way that they can be easily learned after a few visits to “Osteoporosis counseling”. After, patients are able to do them independently at home, at work or in nature. The main weakness of this stage of Tae-do exercise is that it is designed for independent work at home, so the success depends on patient’s persistency, motivation and responsibility, thus can only be expected if one exercises regularly and adequately.
The second stage “advanced course” or “free composition exercises” are exercises that are done in a group training several times a week. The exercises can be done with music. They consist of the rhythmic repetition of simple movements, i.e., simple taekwondo techniques for strikes and blockages with energy-focused muscle contractions. The training is intended to be guided since it has a rich choreography with more than dozen incorporated exercises.