Breaking the Achy Cycle

I know several elderly people; relatives, neighbors and parents of friends and acquaintances. Each of them live in different environments, pursue different lifestyles and have varying levels of health conditions. Although some of them are less prone to complaining than others, one common thread is that when asked how they’re doing, all of them say pretty much the same thing. They have aches and pains.

One of these days, rather than listen sympathetically, I’m going to ask the question. “If you could spend 15 minutes each day doing something that would lead to overall better health, fitness and peace of mind, would you do it?”

Tai Chi is a slow motion, low impact, stretching, moving form of meditative exercise for relaxation and better health. It doesn’t involve kicking, leaping or running. The exercise uses a set of “forms” which consist of a sequence of movements. The way the “forms” are performed in Tai Chi is slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.

Originally, from China, Tai Chi has gained enormous popularity in America and throughout the rest of the world for its health benefits and has been proven a way for elderly people to get back into exercising.

What it helps: Because of the slow movements, Tai Chi promotes calmness and relaxation, while also helping participants to slow their breathing. This may lead to lower blood pressure. This is especially beneficial for older practitioners, but low blood pressure is good for everyone. The continuous movements of Tai Chi that increase flexibility have also been shown to reduce the pain of arthritis and improve general physical function. Practicing Tai Chi on a regular basis can potentially provide enough exercise to help lower high cholesterol.

What it prevents: The postural elements of Tai Chi helps in preventing dangerous falls,  backache, stiff neck, gastric reflux, and easing the effects of osteoporosis and Dowager’s hump. It strengthens the immune system and helps reduce loss of muscle mass and strength.

With grants from the National Institute on Aging, a study was done on how the ancient Chinese exercise form can help older people feel better and regain some the physical functioning they may have lost to inactivity.

The study included 72 people between the ages of 65 and 96 who were split into a group that went to an hour-long class twice a week for six months and a control group that was promised a four-week class at the end ofthe study.

“We found significant improvements within three months on a low intensity program conducted twice a week. Our results also showed improved benefits from six months of participation, suggesting that additional health gains can be derived from a longer period of participation,” the researchers say.

On completion of the study, the Tai Chi students were also twice as likely as the control group to report not being limited in their ability to perform moderate to vigorous activities.

Seniors interested in trying out the exercise form and the likelihood of being free of aches and pains, can contact their local senior center or visit American Tai Chi and Quigong Association to find a class locator.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Los Angeles and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: