Tai Chi is an exercise that originated in China me than 1000 years ago. It is noted for its slow and steady movements that aid in the health of mind and body. Although there are many styles and forms of tai chi, each with its own features, all styles share the same essential principles.
The essential principles of Tai Chi are integrating the mind with the body; control of movements, rhythmic breathing; generating internal energy, mindfulness, loosening of the muscles and peace. The exercise was founded to create total harmony and build the qi or life energy within us to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body. Today, Tai Chi is recognized by the medical profession as having real benefits for practitioners.
Because it is an exercise that can be performed at any age and its multiple benefits, many Tai Chi practitioners are elderly. Today it has become part of senior home care help provided by many senior healthcare organizations. Seniors love because it offers them a wide range of physical and mental benefits including:
One of the biggest issues plaguing seniors is that they often lose their good balance as they age. This can have dire consequences and cause them to fall while walking or even while climbing stairs. Tai Chi is a great exercise for helping seniors to improve their balance. Tai Chi has many slow and methodical moves that are on one leg and that gently allow seniors to use and increase their balancing skills.
Strengthening and Endurance
Tai Chi is an exercise that depends on strength along with balance to be performed. The emphasis is on doing the moves with precision and grace and this takes a good level of strength to achieve. Reaching this point takes some time so seniors can gradually excel at the exercise and as they excel they get stronger. And as they work on it several times each week, their endurance improves dramatically. These results have been proven in tests conducted on those seniors who undertook Tai Chi as a regular exercise. And because it is done gradually and without the use of weights or other machines, there is little chance of injury.
Exercises like Tai Chi are undertaken because for their physical benefits and also because they provide great relief from stress. Tai Chi forces seniors to leave whatever troubles they have and focus on the graceful sweeping movements of the exercise and to utilize this focus to get great results. If you watch seniors doing Tai Chi it almost looks like they are in a trance.
Doctors report that many seniors have difficulties with their concentration. Tai Chi is a great activity to strengthen the concentration and focus. Seniors get to concentrate on the sequences of movements and to do it in a group setting. This focus can play a role in pushing off age related illness like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Because of its many benefits, Tai Chi has grown substantially form only a Chinese activity to now being popular with seniors all over the world.