8 Surprising Benefits of Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a relaxing form of exercise that is especially beneficial for seniors. In as little as 20 minutes, you can reap the rewards of this practice. Originating in China as an internal martial art, Tai Chi relaxes the body and mind.
The traditional form of Tai Chi consists of 19 movements with one pose. The movements are slow and gentle. Regardless of what sub-category of Tai Chi you practice, you will be controlling your breathing, meditating, balancing your energy, and being mindful.
Seniors all over the world, including those at the Oasis Day Center in Brooklyn, are reaping the benefits of this art form. This gentle and simple practice is a great way to show yourself your physical potential.
Benefits of Tai Chi
You can experience many benefits if you make Tai Chi a regular part of your routine. All it takes is an hour a day a few times a week to unlock the numerous benefits that are freely available to you to receive. Here are a few of the most significant Tai Chi benefits for seniors.
Seniors are prone to losing their balance and falling. As you get older, your bones become more fragile, which can lead to devastating consequences if you fall. Being able to reduce the number of accidental falls will help keep seniors healthy and also reduce the $1 billion in healthcare expenses every year related to falls.
Research has shown that when seniors practice Tai Chi on a regular basis, they improve their balance and have a lower risk of falling. You can reduce your risk of falling by nearly half if you practice Tai Chi for an hour a few times a week.
Greater Mental Sharpness
Another unfortunate side effect of aging is decreased cognitive functioning, which is why dementia and impaired reasoning become greater risks. The level of cognitive impairment can get to a point where daily tasks become incredibly difficult.
Thankfully, Tai Chi can help keep your mind as sharp as possible. A study found that an hour of Tai Chi over the course of four months improved the cognitive functioning of senior practitioners of this art form. You can increase your ability to stay more focused for longer periods of time as well.
Reduction of Chronic Pain
You feel greater musculoskeletal pain as you get older. When your muscles and bones become weaker, you feel weaker. You can feel pain where your tendons and ligaments meet your muscles and bones. Exercise usually is the antidote to chronic pain, but as a senior, you may find that difficult. This is where Tai Chi can help.
Given it is a slow-paced and gentle set of exercises, Tai Chi can be a great way to reduce your chronic pain. In a study where seniors practiced Tai Chi twice a week for an hour at a time for three months, they felt far less chronic pain than they did before taking classes.
Help With Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a complex condition with many symptoms. These may include physical pain, inability to concentrate, increased anxiety, greater depression, and more fatigue. Although there currently is no medically accepted cure, Tai Chi can help minimize the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
A study on seniors with fibromyalgia found that when they practiced Tai Chi for six months, their symptoms were greatly reduced. In fact, the results were so profound that Tai Chi was considered even more effective than aerobics. The combined focus on the body and mind may be the key factor in the greater effectiveness of Tai Chi.
Increased Brain and Muscle Functioning
Age brings with it a decline in both mental and physical functioning. However, the decline does not have to be severe. Tai Chi’s gentle nature makes it ideal for seniors who want to strengthen their brain and muscles. It is a great regimen for overall good mental and physical health.
A study discovered that practicing Tai Chi will actually increase neural protection thanks to neuroplasticity. There is also an increase in the oxidative capacity within muscles. These two findings are phenomenal, since they indicate that you can significantly reduce age-related deterioration of your brain and muscles.
While Tai Chi will not be a high-intensity workout like running on the treadmill but it will get your blood flowing and help you lose weight. It is a safe alternative to many of the exercise workout routines younger people do today.
If you are a senior who wishes they could be more active, but are worried about experiencing difficulties doing so, Tai Chi is the answer. You can minimize, or even reduce, weight gain if you keep exercising using Tai Chi a few times a week.
Lower Blood Pressure
Several studies have found that practicing Tai Chi helps reduce blood pressure. The gentle flowing movements can help the mind and body, which then becomes apparent with a reduction in blood pressure. If you want to protect your heart and ensure it is as healthy as it can be, you should start practicing Tai Chi.
If you practice Tai Chi, you can slow down the activity of the genes which are connected with increased inflammation. You can reverse damage caused by stress on your muscles and joints if you make Tai Chi a regular part of your life. If you are dealing with asthma or arthritis, Tai Chi will be especially helpful to you. This mind-body practice will also greatly help you if you are dealing with any inflammation-related psychiatric disorder.
Try Tai Chi Today!
If you want to enjoy the benefits Tai Chi has to offer you, try out a Tai Chi class at Oasis Day Center in Brooklyn. Even if you just practice this ancient art form occasionally, you will experience the benefits. You will probably want to keep a consistent routine once you notice how much better you are feeling after practicing Tai Chi. Your body and mind will both thank you.