Tai Chi For Seniors
Tai chi is an ancient Eastern art form. It combines elements of ancient Indian yoga with a delicate type of Oriental martial arts. Many methods of tai chi have their roots in more warrior forms of martial arts.
Movements associated with many martial art forms are performed slowly and with great precision. During battles, locals who practiced tai chi could be drafted to fight because of their skills.
While tai chi isn’t used for fighting battles, it can be used to help seniors improve their quality of life. The aging process not only affects the outside of the body, but the inside as well. One key to fighting the ravages of time is through staying active.
Now, you won’t see many seniors running down the basketball court or hopping from side to side in your advanced aerobic classes. Bone density also changes with time. But, staying active can help preserve bone and help with balance and coordination.
Another aspect of movement is cessation of pain. Joints become stiff when not used. Any type of injury at an advanced age can lead to a slower recovery period that is riddled with pain. You may not want to move and when you do, it is hard.
Tai chi classes are one way that seniors can keep moving without danger of breaking more bones. The slow deliberate movements stress form, breathing and strength – all things that a person of any age will need.
Tai chi is a sort of moving meditation. Through deep breathing, more oxygen gets to the cells to keep the body functioning properly. Seniors will notice an increase in energy levels. That oxygen also helps to improve cellular repair leading to less pain in the joints.
Seniors also notice that they are better able to maintain their balance and co-ordination. This is helpful for negotiating steps and making quick movements. An older person can remain independent and live on their own much longer when their bodies are physically fit and free of pain.
This form of exercise can also lower the dependence on medications. Your blood pressure is lowered when you stay active and your mood improves with the release of endorphins in the brain. That eliminates depressive medication and those for high blood pressure.
Seniors who stay active generally have a more positive outlook. They interact with others their age, developing friendships and a renewed zest for life.
Tai chi is a great way to manage and alleviate pain as you move into your senior years. Classes are held at senior centers and the YMCA. As you participate you will notice other health benefits as well.