This year, instead of yoga in the park, why not try tai chi? Once you learn about tai chi for seniors, you’ll wonder why you haven’t given it a shot sooner!
Tai Chi for Seniors
Why do so many seniors love tai chi? Tai chi is a type of yoga that uses slow, deliberate movement and breathing exercises to help practitioners build strength and get comfortable in their bodies. If you’re new to physical activity or looking for something unique to help you get moving, tai chi for seniors might be the answer you need.
Why Tai Chi?
Can slow movements and breathing exercises have an impact on your health? It may sound far-fetched, but the evidence doesn’t lie. Believe it or not, tai chi can make a huge difference for seniors who are trying to embrace a healthy lifestyle:
- Tai chi is proven to help seniors improve their stability and core strength, which can help them avoid accidents and injuries. Like other kinds of stretching, it can also help with everyday senior aches and pains, like back pain and arthritis.
- Because tai chi is slow-paced and repetitive, it’s easy to pick up and participate in. It can also be easily adapted to different ability levels, making it workable for different bodies.
- Tai chi doesn’t require fancy equipment or unique clothing, and it’s often taught at senior and community centers. It’s a great, simple way to get out and make friends!
- Tai chi isn’t just good for your body. Studies show that people who practice tai chi have lower rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
How Can I Try It?
Because tai chi is commonly practiced in groups with an instructor, most practitioners recommend finding a class where you can give it a supervised try. However, there are some tai chi stretches that you can try on your own. Be sure to check with your doctor first, especially if you have balance problems or other issues that might affect your ability to participate.
It’s essential to stretch appropriately before doing any exercise, tai chi included. To warm up your lower body, stand with your legs hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Shift your weight from one leg to another, bending your knees slightly as you do so. This exercise can be performed in a chair or braced against a wall for additional support. Repeat three to five times.
From a seated or standing position, place your feet flat on the floor and straighten your back. Inhale slowly and raise your hands from your sides to chest level, palms facing out. Raise your hands slowly into the air above your head, and lower them as you exhale. Repeat ten times.
From a seated or standing position, raise your arms in front of you with your palms facing outwards. Slowly rotate your wrists to the left and then the right. Repeat three to five times per side.
What is tai chi for seniors? It’s a way to make joyful movement and mindfulness a part of your everyday life. Give it a try today!
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