The Benefits of Tai Chi for SeniorsSeptember 2, 2020
Comfortable clothes, a little space and an open mind — that’s all you need to start a tai chi practice. The physical benefits, meditative quality, and low-impact movements are just some of the reasons tai chi for seniors is such a popular activity on our calendar at Sierra Winds.
Tai chi is an ancient martial art in which practitioners execute slow, controlled movements. Some refer to it as “meditation in motion,” because the physical movements are tied to deep breathing in an effort to harness your “chi” or “qi,” meaning life force. With continued practice, people report feeling a body-to-spirit connection that helps bring a sense of renewal and harmony.
8 Benefits of Tai Chi for Seniors
1.Relief from Anxiety and Depression
Tai chi has been linked to improvements in psychological well-being, including anxiety and depression. Slow, purposeful movements combined with a focus on breathing can impact the autonomic nervous system and offer a sense of calm.
2. Improved Balance
Research shows that the controlled, smooth movements help flexibility, posture and stability. These are some of the most important benefits of tai chi for seniors because they can help reduce falls, even for people living with Parkinson’s disease.
3. Pain Management
Tai chi can be a valuable part of a treatment plan for people with chronic pain. In studies, participants living with osteoarthritis of the knee reported lower levels of pain and stiffness after a 12-week regimen.
4. Lower Blood Pressure
For those seniors with hypertension (blood pressure above 140/90), research shows consistent tai chi practice can lower blood pressure and improve their lipid profiles.
5. Stronger Muscles
Working with the practitioner’s body weight and the natural pull of gravity, this moving meditation offers a whole-body strengthening workout. To accommodate more ability levels, tai chi for seniors can also be practiced in a chair.
6. Low-Impact Workout
Tai chi puts minimal stress on joints, meaning it’s relatively safe for people of any age, even those who cannot participate in many forms of exercise.
7. Potential Weight Loss
Tai chi practice can promote weight loss for those who practice it regularly. In a study, smaller waist circumference, lower body weight and decreased fat mass resulted after a 12-week program.
8. No Equipment Needed
Many people prefer group classes, but once a senior becomes familiar with the movements of tai chi, they can practice anywhere. They won’t need any cumbersome equipment if they’re on a visit to family or a fun vacation.
There are numerous benefits of exercise for seniors, and tai chi is a prime example of an activity that provides multifaceted advantages. But every option on the Sierra Winds activity calendar is carefully chosen to enhance the lifestyle and well-being of the residents. We know, despite the many tai chi health benefits, even this activity won’t appeal to everyone. That’s why we provide a wide variety of activity options, so everyone can find exercise classes, clubs, and social opportunities to fit their personalities and schedules.
To find out more about the enriching lifestyle and wellness opportunities at Sierra Winds, reach out to us. We’d be happy to provide you more insight into our vibrant community.