As we age, life becomes more difficult. We’re not as flexible as we used to be, we get injured more easily, and serious health problems tend to develop. Of course, regular exercise can help slow that process down, but there’s one type of exercise that can not only help prevent the basic effects of aging but also help prevent the serious ailments associated with it: Tai Chi.
The benefits of Tai Chi for health and prevention fall under cardiovascular health and stress relief, but we’ll get to that in the following paragraphs.
What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is a Chinese version of calisthenics. It involves slowly transitioning between different martial arts poses. It’s an ancient art with a deep and rich history in Eastern culture, and it’s proven to have a multitude of health benefits. This is especially true for older individuals who don’t have the strength or flexibility to handle intense workouts anymore.
The health benefits of Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a form of exercise, but it’s a lot calmer and slower than the types of things you see on late-night TV. Instead of focusing on the intensity and forcing its practitioners to work up a sweat, it focuses on calm, slow, and intentional movements.
This unique approach to working out provides the following benefits to people of all ages:
- Stress relief
- Stronger pulmonary systems
- Increased cardiovascular activity
- Lower risk for heart conditions
- Higher flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and definition
- Increased agility
These are traits that people of all ages want, but Tai Chi offers some highly sought-after health benefits for older individuals.
It can increase mental cognitive activity that wards off dementia and other issues that affect the older community. In addition, the stress relief and cardiovascular benefits of Tai Chi prevent heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and other serious illnesses that mostly affect older individuals.
Finally, Tai Chi’s flexibility and agility benefits make older individuals more resilient to falls and bumps. It’s a long-running joke about grandma breaking her hip, but there’s a serious, very common, backstory to that.
Older people are more susceptible to breaking bones or otherwise harming themselves just by falling over. Tai Chi can prepare the bones, muscles, and ligaments for such falls. This greatly lowers the chance of a senior citizen experiencing a broken bone over a simple trip or fall, and it increases the senior’s chances of survival if such an occasion occurs.
How to start Tai Chi
Starting Tai Chi is easy. There are instructors all over the world, and they’re usually packed with other students. You can simply search Google for local Tai Chi classes and enroll with minimal effort.
However, online classes are cropping up with the Covid-19 pandemic, and these are great opportunities for would-be Tai Chi enthusiasts. Again, just do a simple Google search and you’ll find what you’re after.
The benefits of Tai Chi for health and prevention fall under many categories, and pretty much everyone can experience those benefits with a little bit of commitment. It’s a low-impact, high-return exercise that can change one’s life for the better.
However, the benefits of Tai Chi take time to experience. If you want to experience those benefits, it’s best to find an instructor and start your Tai Chi journey, today!