The Benefits of Tai Chi, for Senior Citizens

benefits of tai chiGetting old is no joke and while for all of us it is inevitable; how we choose to grow old is entirely in our hands. Chief among the problems we face as we age are medical conditions such as arthritis and the risk of falling. For those who have managed to pass the age of 70 any fall can lead to broken hips and other bones as well as numerous other injuries. One of the main Tai Chi benefits for Seniors is that regular practice can help to improve your sense of balance as a result of a number of the different forms.

Improving Balance

This improvement in balance can lead to a significant reduction in the number of falls and fall related injuries in the elderly. As proof of these particular Tai Chi benefits, in 1996 a study was conducted at the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta involving volunteer group of senior citizens who were all considered to be at risk of falling and becoming injured. They were enrolled in a 15 week long course of Tai Chi Chuan classes. At the end of the fifteen week period, each participant was evaluated for their risk of falling.

In order to demonstrate the benefits of Tai Chi in helping the elderly, the net result of the study was that the risk of falling in the study group was reduced by an aggregate of 47.5%. In Farrington, Connecticut the University of Connecticut Health Center also conducted a similar study and not only were they able to replicate the results among their own test group, they found that by practicing the various forms and postures of Tai Chi after adjusting them to meet the abilities of the seniors involved in the study, the exercises improved balance and overall strength in those involved.

More importantly, it was found that these Tai Chi benefits lasted for a number of months, even if the person failed to continue to practice the exercises. The regular practice of Tai Chi has also been found to relieve the pain and stiffness that are associated with one of the worst and most disabling diseases of old age, arthritis. Because Tai Chi involves exercises which are considered to be low impact and involve slow but constant flowing movement, they are considered to be ideal for elderly patients who might otherwise have a hard time exercising.

Most Important Tai Chi benefit

Perhaps one of the most important Tai Chi benefits for the elderly is that by taking part in these exercises on a regular basis such as three times per week, they can look forward to a much healthier and far more active life. In order to ensure the accuracy of the studies listed above, all of them included a study group who was given a completely different form of training, the results of which were far less satisfactory.

As a final note it was found that as long as those involved in these studies continued to practice what they had learned, their quality of life continued to remain far better than it was before they became involved.



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