Tai Chi is a slow, calm form of exercise performed by breathing and moving through a series of motions. It is low-impact yet still has health benefits. For this reason, it’s a valuable form of exercise for seniors.
Because of tai chi’s popularity, some Saint Petersburg assisted living facilities offer tai chi classes onsite. Here are 4 benefits of tai chi for older adults.
1. Enhances Concentration
While tai chi is a low-impact form of exercise, it still requires strong focus to perform. The practice of tai chi focuses on connecting your mind, body, and breath. To align all of those things takes concentration.
Older or retired adults can fall into routines that don’t require much daily concentration, so this is a great way to ensure that the brain’s focus muscles don’t get ignored.
2. Helps Improve Balance
Some have compared tai chi to yoga, particularly because of the moves that require balance. Tai chi targets all the body parts and skills necessary for balance: core, arms, legs, flexibility, range of motion, and reflexes.
These things tend to decline with age, which is why seniors are more prone to falling. Tai chi can help strengthen muscles and improve balance, decreasing the risk of falls.
3. Helps with Arthritis Pain
There’s a reason doctors often prescribe movement for arthritis pain—it’s one of the most effective ways to relieve it. Unfortunately, high-intensity forms of movement can be difficult for seniors with arthritis to perform regularly.
Since tai chi is both low-impact and caters to a range of skill levels, it’s an activity that many seniors can stick with, even if they have mobility issues. Doing tai chi for even a few minutes a day can help ease arthritis pain considerably.
4. Relieves Stress
Tai chi is more than just movement; it’s a practice that integrates breathing and relaxation into every part of the exercise. In that manner, tai chi promotes a relaxed state of mind through gentle movements that connect the mind and body.
It’s customary to listen to relaxing music while performing tai chi to enhance the experience of relaxation. The breathing exercises performed during tai chi movements have been shown to relieve stress.
Stress contributes significantly to mental and physical disease, particularly for seniors, so engaging in a daily stress-relieving activity is critical.
How to Start Tai Chi
It can seem overwhelming to pick up tai chi if you’ve never tried it. However, it’s easier to learn than you think. There are a few ways you can get started. First, look for an instructor near you. Instructors can offer private lessons, and some may even travel to a St. Petersburg assisted living facility to teach you.
Second, you can look for a local class. Many gyms and activity centers offer tai chi sessions on a weekly or monthly basis.
Finally, you can learn tai chi in the comfort of your own home through video or online options. You can buy or rent a tai chi DVD or sign up for an online beginner’s class to learn the basics. You can even find programs specifically designed for seniors.
St. Petersburg Assisted Living
If you or a loved one is looking to transition to assisted living, St. Petersburg is a great community. You’ll find warm weather, like-minded seniors, and plenty of opportunities to stay active.
Whether it’s tai chi or other activities, St. Petersburg communities prioritize wellness for their residents and help older adults make the most out of their retirement. Please talk to your health care physician before making any changes in exercise routines.