Tai Chi for Seniors: Benefits and Resources
Tai Chi for Seniors and their caregivers
Tai Chi for seniors is an extremely popular method for staying active in a safe manner. Due to various health reasons, it gets difficult for some seniors to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. Their limitations could include restrictive movement or aches and pains due to arthritis. Tai Chi provides a gentle exercise routine that encourages movement and has many health benefits.
What is Tai Chi?
A form of Chinese martial art, Tai Chi has been adapted over the years for training and for defense. The Tai Chi process comprises of meditative elements such as deep breathing and deliberate movements encouraging precise attention and focus to the present moment. Depending on the person’s health condition, the movement can be fast or flow, but the repetition is what allows one to focus. And because Tai Chi can be done with gentle movements, it’s easy on the joints and doesn’t cause the one exercising to get out of breath easily.
What are some of the Benefits of Tai Chi for seniors?
There are many benefits of Tai Chi for Seniors:
- It may help improve immune function
- Increases core strength for stability
- It helps improve balance and posture
- Strengthens leg muscles
- Lower risk of falling
- It may help reduce anxiety and depression
For those who are unable to stand and exercise, certain Tai Chi exercises can be done while seated.
Finding Tai Chi Classes:
To start, search for Tai Chi instructors in your location to make the process easier. Many senior facilities offer Tai Chi classes but due to COVID-19 and physical distancing measures, it is advised not to join group classes at this time. It is recommended to start the first few sessions with a professional Tai Chi instructor to adopt and practice the correct posture and methodology. After that seniors can practice Tai Chi movements at home or by following online instructors.
How can caregivers benefit from Tai Chi?
Tai Chi combines gentle physical movements which can help relieve stress and improve breathing. Depending on the caregivers age, Tai Chi exercise can be modified with varied intensity levels. If a caregiver chooses to incorporate an intense workout, it can become a great low impact aerobic exercise for them.
Here are some helpful links and resources to help you get you started on your Tai Chi journey:
An important note:
The first step before beginning any exercise is to consult your doctor first. For seniors who have pre-existing health concerns, asking the doctor should be the first step before beginning any form of exercise, even if its something as gentle as Tai Chi.