Why do warm ups?
Well, they get the body warm, it's true,  but there's more to it than that...

Each tai chi warm up is designed to help loosen particular joints of the body, so that as the years progress, the body becomes much looser, the tendons softer, everything moves more easily. If you look at older people in the street, an overwhelming number are stiffened up, with people having difficulty moving and walking.

The importance of warm ups for health, then, is overwhelming... the longer you can keep walking and moving easily, the longer you will have an independent life, full of possibilities.

As you progress through the levels in tai chi practise, the warm ups become more significant. First you learn how they can be used in a self defence manner, then later when your body is ready, you can build in extra stretches and so forth into the warm ups.

Many things in tai chi are used to prepare the body for the next levels up - there's no point in trying to rush ahead with tai chi learning, as if your body isn't prepared, you won't be able to do whatever. Similarly with chi kung - there's loads of books on chi kung available, but if you rush into doing something advanced before your body has been developed through the basic practises, you will only damage yourself. Hurrying impedes progress.

Do those basic warm ups every day, give your body time to develop looseness, then a lot more things will become possible to do. And when you reach the higher levels, you will discover why we do those specific warm ups - they are not arbitrarily chosen, there's a definite reason for each one. Anyway, they're quite fun, so enjoy them too!