Community Blog

Benefits of Tai Chi for Seniors

By Ketan Patel

Seniors who have been active for their entire lives might find that they now suffer from disorders that prevent them from participating in the activities they once loved. Tennis, golf, bowling and Saturday morning basketball games may now be a thing of the past. Fortunately, low-impact physical activities like tai chi can provide physical and emotional benefits to the older generation with disabilities that make other activities off limits. If tai chi is not offered closeby, an in-home caregiver may be able to provide transportation.

 

Defining Tai Chi

You may have heard the term tai chi, or you might have seen it practiced by a group in the park, yet you may not fully understand the practice and its physical and emotional benefits. Tai chi is a form of exercise that evolved from ancient Chinese martial arts traditions over hundreds of years. The practice uses visualization, breathing along with controlled stretching movements. The result is a slow and graceful activity that improves balance, increases strength and calms stress levels.

 

Who Benefits from Tai Chi

While tai chi can benefit most people, it is ideal for senior citizens. Tai chi is easy to practice, does not require any special equipment and can be practiced at one’s own pace. Tai chi uses low impact movements that do not put unwarranted stress on joints and muscles, making it perfect for seniors with physical challenges. As with any new exercise program, it makes sense to consult with a doctor before you begin. You may be able to avoid any physical problems by modifying tai chi postures if necessary.

 

Physical Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai chi is especially beneficial for seniors because the practice focuses on balance, often an issue as people age. Improved balance and stability results from strengthening knees and ankles, making falls less likely. Tai Chi improves leg and lower body strength, encourages deep breathing and leads to increased aerobic capacity. Seniors may notice that practicing tai chi helps with arthritis pain due to gentle movements that do not put stress on the joints.

 

Emotional Benefits

Seniors who practice tai chi may find that the practice relieves stress and anxiety and improves their mood. Because tai chi releases endorphins, practitioners often feel energized afterward. Tai chi is also beneficial for seniors because it enhances concentration by requiring body and mind coordination through the use of mental imagery. Seniors often join a group to practice tai chi, resulting in increased social interaction.

 

Hiring a Caregiver

Home Helpers of South Shore is owned and operated by a compassionate health professional with a strong understanding of the needs of aging seniors. Contact Home Helpers to help your aging loved one.

Please fill out the form on the left and we will get in touch with you about setting up in-home health care, or call us at 781-585-1244 to determine the plan that is right for you.

We serve the following communities:

Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman