As people grow older they may become unsteady on their feet. Improving balance is a good way to help prevent falls.
Research is showing that an extremely effective way for older adults to improve balance is through an ancient Chinese movement exercise called Tai Chi.
One study by the National Institute of Health showed a nearly 50% reduced risk of falls after a 15-week Tai Chi program. Tai Chi also has shown other benefits such as improved flexibility and lowered blood pressure.
What’s unique about Tai Chi is that its benefits extend beyond physical health. Twenty-minute sessions of easy Tai Chi exercises also improve mental and spiritual health, as well as building self-defense skills. With its slow, controlled movements, the risk of injury is exceptionally low, making Tai Chi a fantastic form of exercise for seniors.
Options Near You
Tai Chi classes are becoming more and more available at YMCA’s, health clubs and senior centers. You may have to do some research to find a class.
If one isn’t available in your community, perhaps you can convince a local health organization to consider the benefits.
As with any exercise program, individuals interested in Tai Chi should consult with their physician before joining a class.