If you have seen a group of individuals at the park or an outdoor area performing slow, synchronized movements with their legs and arms, chances are they were practicing tai chi. Originating from ancient China, this martial art is practiced worldwide today because of its adaptability and suitability for people of all ages. In this article, you will find out why practicing tai chi can bring about health benefits for seniors.
What is Tai Chi?
You may have heard about tai chi but have no idea what it is. As a form of martial art that originated from China, tai chi is also known as “meditation in motion”. It is a discipline that involves both the mind and the body, and the slow and exaggerated movements can help seniors improve balance, reduce stress, and build flexibility.
Types of Tai Chi
Today, there are five types of tai chi commonly practiced throughout the world. The most common one is known as the Yang style. It was developed by Yang Luchan, and the focus is on large and exaggerated movements. The gentle movements characteristic of the Yang style make it easily adaptable for individuals of all age groups, from young children to older adults. Even if you need to be seated, the moves can be adapted to suit your needs. Yang style tai chi is particularly useful for improving flexibility.
The Chen style is the oldest form of tai chi and incorporates a combination of fast and slow movements. Practicing this style will help to improve leg strength and build muscle. However, it may not be suitable for older adults, especially those who have back or knee problems.
Benefits of Practicing Tai Chi for Seniors
As a senior, it’s important to get in some physical exercise every week. The recommendation is at least thirty minutes three times a week. Tai chi is an excellent exercise to choose for older adults due to the many health benefits it can bring about like:
- Improved balance
- Improved mood
- Better blood circulation
- Reduced stress, depression, and anxiety
- Promotes a good night’s sleep
- Improved hand-eye coordination
- Improved muscle strength and definition
- Building up of physical strength
- Lower risk of high blood pressure
- … and many more!
You may wish to consult with your physician before taking part in tai chi. They will be able to assess whether it is suitable for you based on your health condition and mobility limitations if any.
You Can Take Part in Numerous Fitness Activities in A Senior Living Community
If you find that you have little opportunity to keep active and participate in fitness activities while aging in place, making the move to a senior living community can benefit you. At Discovery Commons At Bradenton, you will find a senior-centered health & wellness program that focuses on all aspects of health. With regularly scheduled activities such as trips to area attractions, you will always have a chance to stay physically active. To find out more about what we have to offer, please schedule a tour with us today.