If your elderly loved one looking for a way to stay fit but is somewhat restricted in what they can participate in, it’s time to seriously consider tai chi. This ancient Chinese martial art has recently been converted into an outstanding exercise program that is ideal for all ages, but especially seniors. Tai chi is a fine way to boost health and wellness in the elderly and it’s easy to incorporate it into a comprehensive senior care plan.
All About Tai Chi
Tai chi is a slow exercise that enhances both the mind and the body. It is appropriate for every fitness level, age and experience. It is a series of coordinated and increasingly complicated movements that involve the entire body, especially the arms, legs and core. Although tai chi has a history of more than 500 years, it has only recently been recognized as a wonderful way to increase health, reduce stress and get some exercise.
Benefits of Tai Chi in Seniors
Tai chi is especially good for seniors because it allows them to exercise all the muscles in the body in a controlled and low-impact way. Tai chi has been shown to increase flexibility, boost circulation and improve balance. Mentally, tai chi is a good choice for seniors as the meditative aspects can reduce stress by releasing endorphins, thereby regulating moods. Of course, any exercise is going to lead seniors to better sleep, better appetite and better overall health.
Beginning Tai Chi
It’s never too late for seniors to begin tai chi. At first, seniors may feel challenged in learning the different body positions and working to align their bodies into the proper movements. However, the learning curve is small and in no time, seniors will be able to perform the different moves and complete the workout.
Seniors have several options when it comes to beginning tai chi. They can check out classes at their local senior citizens center or community fitness center. Also, there are plenty of DVDs that have tai chi workouts on them, some especially for beginning seniors. No matter how seniors participate in tai chi, they should always have the approval of their doctor before beginning any kind of exercise.
Helping Seniors Get Started
The best thing about starting tai chi is that seniors don’t need a lot of special equipment to begin. Just make sure the senior has an open space to perform the workout routine and that they are wearing flexible shoes and comfortable clothes. It’s helpful to set up a regular workout time so that your aging loved one is ready and willing to do it each day. If they need help from a home care aide travel to class or in getting ready for a home workout, you can work it out as part of a senior care plan with the agency so your loved one has regular transportation when they need it.
There’s no reason why seniors should delay getting fit and enjoying all the health benefits of tai chi. The real physical and mental benefits of tai chi are easy to see after just a short time, and as long as seniors stick with the exercise regimen, they will notice a difference in their health and vitality.
For senior care in Southern NJ and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.