Tai Chi for the elderly

Tai Chi is an excellent exercise for everyone.

Often seniors are looking for options to improve and maintain their fitness levels. As people age, flexibility and strength reduction often lead to reduction in the ability to complete the activities of daily living. Seniors often are afraid to begin an exercise regimen for fear that they may injure themselves or exacerbate their current chronic health conditions. Tai Chi is an excellent option for seniors to not only maintain their current level of fitness but improve as well. Michigan State University Extension offers several physical activity programs that can provide new ways for seniors to become active.

Tai Chi has numerous benefits for seniors. It provides an excellent low impact, relaxing form of exercise and can be done in approximately 20 minutes per day. Tai Chi combines the mental and spiritual aspects of wellness and integrates them into movement. Tai Chi combines a series of movements and poses which improve flexibility, strength and balance among many other benefits. Below we will review some of these positive impacts of Tai Chi.

Tai Chi promotes deep breathing which has been shown to be beneficial in dealing with all types of chronic diseases. It also can help reduce the physical effects of stress. Menopausal women often experience a reduction of bone loss. Leg and lower body strength improve with continued participation. This increased strengthening of ankles and knees improves balance and stability. Many people who suffer from arthritis also have a reduction in pain. Tai Chi also has shown to promote faster recovery from strokes and heart attacks and improve conditions of Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

Contact your local senior center to see if there is a Tai Chi class available in your local area.

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