Tai Chi is Perfect for Seniors with Arthritis Who Need Relief
Tai Chi is becoming a popular fitness activity for seniors. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that features gentle and flowing movements. It can help seniors strengthen muscles and improve physical stamina. Seniors will receive much-needed relief from their arthritic pain by strengthening the muscles that surround the joints.
Compared to other fitness exercises, Tai Chi offers seniors a better opportunity to increase their mobility and reduce arthritic pain as they age instead of walking, which can be jarring to the knees and hips.
Elderwood, a leading provider of senior care across the North East, began implementing a Tai Chi program in March for their assisted living facilities, which will start in the summer of 2021 and will be offered a few times a week.
The program will follow Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi for Arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation and the Center for Disease Control support Dr. Lam’s program for arthritis pain relief. The program is broken down at a slow pace that allows seniors to learn and focus on the core movements of Tai Chi. As the program progresses, core movements will be introduced with the implementation of movement extensions of the arms and legs. Helping seniors build a strong foundation assists in reducing falls and strengthens the quality of life.
“There is a definite interest in Tai Chi and given the current pandemic situation that we’re in; we want to still be able to provide the residents an opportunity to practice Tai Chi in a seated format. Besides the physical benefits of Tai Chi, there are also benefits to mental health,” said Elderwood Wellness Coordinator Steven Johnson.
There are many positive benefits to exercise besides the physical ones. A decrease in anxiety and depression are the biggest benefits to mental health that someone can experience from exercise. Improved sleep quality is another one.
Tai Chi emphasizes these benefits over traditional forms of exercise by connecting the breath to movement. This enables people to get the relaxing benefits of deep breathing meditation techniques, which have been shown to help treat depression and anxiety.
It’s important before starting an exercise routine to consult with your physician. A physician’s assessment will help determine what fitness routine is right for you.