What is Tai Chi for Seniors? Benefits in Balance

  |     |   Health & Wellness

senior practicing tai chi in others in class

Tai Chi is an easy and powerful way for seniors to generate better balance and maintain mobility. It is an ancient art that can be adapted to a variety of different skill levels, and the main idea is to link body movements to your breathing. It is a sort of standing meditation with repetitive movements, making Tai Chi for seniors a great option. 

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is similar to yoga in a lot of ways. While yoga involves moving the body slowly and methodically into specific postures and holding them, Tai Chi is about movement. Its roots are in martial arts, and it can train the body to have an acute understanding of the way the weight falls with each step we take. 

With gentle exercise and light stretching, Tai Chi guides the mind and body into a state of harmony. Subtle and slow movements paired with intentional breathing exercises make it a very attractive option for people who are in need of an active yet calming practice. It doesn’t require any additional flexibility or strength, and in fact, will slowly increase them with regular practice. It is also famously reported to bring balance to the energy centers of the body, as the word ‘Chi’ actually refers to life force. 

Tai Chi Near Me for Seniors

The best way to practice Tai Chi for seniors is in a group setting with an experienced leader. The foot movements are easiest to replicate when someone is doing them in front of you, and seniors can also learn from each other as the group goes through each series of movements. 

Tai Chi has many reported benefits, such as an increase in strength and improved immune function. Focus is shifted into the body for the duration of the class, so practicing Tai Chi regularly improves balance substantially. This can potentially reduce falls, which is incredibly helpful. The muscles in the ankles and legs will be strengthened, allowing seniors to keep their energy levels for longer when they’re on their feet. 

Since Tai Chi is a meditation, you get to experience the classic benefits of each practice. Meditation can help increase feelings of inner stillness, and this can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. If a senior practices Tai Chi regularly, these benefits can be life-changing. Of course it can never reverse or cure any serious illnesses, but it can certainly be of great service to people as they go through the various challenges associated with those illnesses. 

Social Distancing Activities for Seniors

Even in a group setting, Tai Chi can be practiced in a socially-distanced manner. For many of the exercises, you can stay in the same place. You are likely to take one step forward, one step back, or to each of your sides, but you won’t move too far other than that. If everyone places their mat in accordance with the six-foot rule, there will still be plenty of room for everyone to move the way they want to. 

It’s always important to have plenty of socially distanced activities for seniors that can be done outdoors or with plenty of space in between. Since Tai Chi is empowering, simple, and safe, it is quickly becoming a popular option for seniors who want to stay active without any inherent risks. If you want to learn more about how Symphony Senior homes keep our elders active, explore our website to learn more! We’re grateful to be of service in a variety of situations, no matter how much or how little care someone needs.

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