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7 Ways Tai Chi Benefits The Health Of Older Adults

What is Tai Chi?

Tai chi, often known as meditation in motion, is a mind-body practice involving gentle martial exercises to help people maintain strength, balance, and flexibility. This low-impact exercise boosts the mind, enhances the spirit, and makes your body feel more healthy. Since Tai chi is a soft motion exercise that does not strain the muscles, senior citizens are increasingly adopting it. It was developed by the ancient Chinese. Western countries have adopted Tai chi as a standard stress handling and management practice.

Tai chi can also be performed in sitting positions. Hence, it is suitable for anyone who is not able to walk or sit due to problems in the lower back. Due to its low-impact nature, Tai chi is ideal for people with any fitness level and especially for seniors who can’t exercise otherwise. 

7 Health Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai chi is different from other exercises in many ways. For example, while performing Tai Chi-

The joints are not bent.
There is no forceful movement, and the muscles are relaxed.
The muscle fibres are not tensed.
Easy to learn, for starters.
It involves gentle exercises that focus on overall well-being.

Tai chi can be practised by anyone, from someone fit to someone physically disabled or recovering from long-term surgery. Regular practice of Tai chi can prevent potential health problems and treat the existing ones if any. The several health benefits include the following-

Stress Management

Often seniors are observed dealing with stress because of the medical conditions or side effects of the medication. Tai chi focuses on all aspects of the human body- spiritual, mental and physical. When all these aspects are balanced, it helps to de-stress, reduce anxiety and help fight mental illnesses. It can enhance overall psychological well-being. 

Improves Body Balance

Muscles wear and tear down as people age. Performing Tai chi regularly can improve the postural muscles and enhance the body’s flexibility, coordination and balance. Tai chi can help the elderly maintain their strength and agility.

Strengthens The Immune System

Unlike typical workouts, one integral element of Tai chi is controlled breathing. Practising Tai chi helps in the vital functioning and growth of immune cells. This no-sweat exercise is easy to perform for senior adults and has positive impacts on the immune system.

Good For Diabetic Patients

Tai chi helps lower insulin levels in Diabetic patients. Tai chi exercises help maintain blood flow and lower blood glucose levels.

Improves Quality Of Sleep

Older adults are often seen struggling with sleep. It’s common for them to have difficulty falling asleep or waking up during the night. Tai chi encourages deep sleep by strengthening the mind-body connection. Practising tai chi exercises before bedtime can help you relax. It can also help seniors to have controlled thoughts and eliminate anxiety, thus promoting better sleep.  

Reduces Pain

Tai chi activities are helpful for those with chronic conditions. Weight-shifting and slow-motion exercises can aid pain management, increase muscular strength, and lessen joint discomfort. It is highly beneficial for seniors with osteoarthritis, arthritis, and migraines.

Enhances The Cognitive Abilities 

In the elderly with cognitive disorders, tai chi can help to improve their cognitive abilities and boost memory and execution skills. Tai chi exercises can help seniors with mental illnesses strengthen their attention span and thus perform challenging activities. 

Final Words

Although Tai chi is a slow-motion exercise involving soft movements, senior citizens are not advised to practice these exercises without a trainer. There are different styles of Tai chi, and a professional Tai chi trainer can help you identify the style that will be most suitable for your age and fitness level. 

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