Tai Chi for Seniors
Our Activities Director Ronda Rosenau has just started a new Tai Chi class for our senior Residents here at The Manor Village at Scottsdale, our. In this blog, Ronda explains why tai chi is an ideal exercise for seniors who may not have exercised much before coming to our senior living community.
“Originally developed in 13th century China as a martial art, tai chi is a low impact form of exercise that promotes deep breathing and relaxation through a series of gently flowing simple movements.”
I’ve been practicing tai chi for years and I really enjoy it. It helps me relax, and it keeps me supple and well balanced. I particularly love the way a whole class moves as one through the exercises. So, I wanted to share the benefits I felt with our Residents, some of whom may not have exercised much before coming to live with us here in Arizona.
Benefits of tai chi for seniors
Studies have shown that tai chi is particularly beneficial for those aged 65 plus, helping to:
- reduce stress
- improve posture and gait
- build better balance
- improve flexibility and general mobility
- increase muscle strength in the legs
- reduce the risk of falls
- improve cardiovascular fitness
Gentle exercise for the whole body
The flowing exercises in tai chi ensure that all parts of our body are gently worked at some point, including tendons, joints, and the spine, and boosts blood circulation too. The aim is to cultivate qi, or life energy, which flows through the body to promote health and wellbeing.
Simple and social
The basic movements in tai chi are very easy to learn - even I could manage them! During classes, our instructor tailors each move to the individual as required. By practicing tai chi in a group, we all help each other in this new experience. It’s a bit like a slow-motion dance class, as we all ultimately move gently and smoothly in unison through the moves.
It’s early days but already our Residents say how calming and peaceful the Saturday classes are, and how it is increasing their confidence in their balance.
Tai chi and long term conditions
Tai chi exercises help improve mobility in your knees, ankles and hips, so can be beneficial to people who suffer with pain from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The fluid movement of the arms and shoulders also helps keep these areas supple. Tai chi movements can also be adapted to suit those with a disability if required, and has proved beneficial for the control and management of diabetes.
For more details of our Health and Wellness activities at The Manor Village at Scottsdale:
Meanwhile, you’ll find us every Saturday morning Parting The Wild Horse’s Mane, Playing the Lute, and discovering how to Carry The Tiger Over the Mountain!