Tai Chi

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TWO times per week! 

Every Tuesday (for beginners) from 11:00-12:00 p.m.

Every Thursday (for the slightly advanced) from 3:15-4:15 p.m.

Join Karen Faire-Scott for Tai Chi for Arthritis. 

What is tai chi?

Tai chi is an ancient form of Chinese exercise characterized by slow, measured movements and deep breathing. According to the Mayo Clinic, the practice originally started as a form of self-defense. Today, tai chi exercises are best known for their gentle, controlled stretches, where each movement flows into the next so that you’re constantly moving throughout the activity.

Even though it might be easy to assume such a slow-moving and gentle activity isn’t intense enough to do much, tai chi can be considered an aerobic exercise. In fact, the level and benefit of aerobic intensity, depending on the type of tai chi, can be similar to taking a fast walk, according to the Harvard Health Publishing.

How tai chi can benefit older adults

Because tai chi is a low impact exercise, it should be safe for individuals of all ages and levels of fitness, according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, it may be especially well suited for older adults whose health status may make it otherwise difficult to exercise. According to Harvard Health Publishing, studies have shown tai chi may reduce falls in older adults by up to 45 percent.

According to the Mayo Clinic, health benefits of tai chi may include:

  • Lower anxiety, stress, and depression

  • Higher energy

  • Better balance and flexibility

  • Muscle strengthening

  • Lower blood pressure

The Mayo Clinic does note that those with severe osteoporosis, fractures, joint issues, or back pain should talk with a doctor before starting a tai chi regimen. In some situations, tai chi exercises can be modified so you can still safely do them. Tai chi exercises can even be done in a chair or wheelchair, according to Harvard Health Publishing.