WHAT IS TAI CHI?
Although tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art form and practiced for both self-defense and health, it is known for its slow, intentional movements that make it a popular gentle exercise and meditation, with benefits for both mental and physical health.
We care about senior living in Norwalk here at Holland Farms, so we love to discover ways for seniors to exercise that will increase their active lives. Tai chi is one of those forms of exercise.
IS TAI CHI SAFE FOR SENIORS?
Tai Chi is a low impact exercise which makes it a good one for individuals who desire slower movement. Even though low impact, tai chi can leave some people tired or sore when they are just beginning the exercise. However, once their bodies become more accustomed to the movement, as with other exercises, this will not be an issue.
Since you do not get down on the floor for tai chi, but instead do it standing or, if needed, sitting, there is less risk for senior adults. You can simplify any movements that are more complex in the beginning and work up to them as you practice.
The most popular form of tai chi for senior adults or any beginner is Yang. Yang is a less athletic and simplified form of tai chi. It moves at a slower pace with larger sweeping movements.
IS IT DIFFICULT FOR BEGINNERS?
Any of the poses can be simplified, if needed, in order for you to follow along. Also, like with any exercise, the more regular you practice it, the easier it will become.
You can practice on your own using only a few poses and a simple routine. You can hold onto a chair if you need help balancing. Here’s a routine you can follow: 1) Begin with a warmup that starts with a leg warmup where you stand with your legs apart and shift your weight between the two, and a torso twist where your hands are on your hips as you twist at your waist to stretch; next you will move onto a few tai chi moves: 2) Energy to the sky, 3) Drawing the bow; and 4) Penetrating heaven and earth. These are simple but healthy moves that you can take away from any tai chi lesson or look up on a website.
Like with any new skill, it takes a bit of practice to become easy. The ease you feel doing it will develop with time. As it does, you will begin to feel the enormous benefits that come with this practice.
At Holland Farms Senior Living, we know that an active lifestyle is an important one for our residents. We make a commitment to making the most of senior living in Norwalk each day and believe healthy aging can be embraced and celebrated. To help our residents with this, we offer a full monthly calendar of activities and events to choose from, so everyone has options they will enjoy.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TAI CHI?
The benefits of tai chi are numerous and cover both physical and mental sides of the health spectrum, which is one of the reasons for our interest. At Holland Farms, we nurture the four dimensions of wellness of the individual: social, spiritual, intellectual and physical. We work to maximize our residents’ well-being and know staying active is important to health.
Tai chi improves correct posture which instills greater awareness of the body and how it moves through space. Regularly practicing tai chi can increase flexibility, improve balance, and strengthen legs.
The practice of tai chi is also a form of meditation and focuses on breathing. Harvard Health Publishing explains it is often described as “meditation in motion.” Research shows that this slow-motion, low-impact exercise may decrease the risk of high blood pressure, improve cardiovascular fitness, increase blood circulation and improve cognitive function and memory.
Since cognitive issues are a major concern for senior adults as they age, this makes tai chi a particularly popular form of exercise. Adding all of the benefits that come with the form of movements involved make it a particularly positive one to participate in.
There are also aerobic benefits to the practice of tai chi, and even if the workout only slightly increases your heart rate you will benefit in the long run.
Research has also shown tai chi improves hand-eye coordination, which can be helpful if you have found you are starting to have more difficulty in daily tasks such as buttoning your clothes or feeding yourself. This type of practice can be helpful in staving off issues.
Additionally, research shows tai chi reduces depression and anxiety. Meditation practices often help with these issues, so that is not a surprising benefit. Also, since this is often done in a group setting, being with others helps individuals not feel isolated, which can be an issue for senior adults.
Adding quality sleep is the last benefit we want to address, but it is an important one. Sleep is important to overall health, so you want to ensure quality sleep to help with many health ailments.
SENIOR LIVING IN NORWALK THAT LOOKS OUT FOR YOU!
If you are looking for excellent senior living in Norwalk, whether you are in the hunt for carefree living, assisted living, or memory care, we can assure you Holland Farms Senior Living is the place for you.
With our age in place services, you are able to increase the services we provide if your needs increase. Holland Farms offers delightful amenities and a lovely atmosphere that make our community truly feel like your home.
Don’t just take our word for it. If you are interested in a tour, please request one now! We would love to show you all we have to offer at Holland Farms Senior Living!