4 Health Benefits of Tai Chi for Seniors You Should’ve Known

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Aside from having the benefits of cycling, adults or seniors could do so many things to make themselves healthy. Jogging in the morning, brisk walking, or even trying traditional methods of exercising. One of them is Tai Chi.

Apart from being famous for its defensive techniques, Tai Chi martial arts are also believed to be able to maintain health. For decades, Tai Chi has been used as an effective means of promoting the health of its activists.

Since it uses slow movements, it’s often considered to be meditation. Taijiquan (original name of Tai Chi) is a Chinese martial art that developed around the 13th century.

This flow is considered very good for anyone who wants to achieve physical health as well as inner peace. Not surprisingly, many do it to relieve stress and anxiety, and increase concentration power.

Just like the benefits of yoga, Tai Chi’s using slow flowing movements. Tai Chi appears to be gentler, slower and more focused on the mind and breathing exercises. This is why sports through martial arts are perfect for anyone, even seniors.

Its gentle movements make muscles and joints not burdened by excessive pressure, which is good for muscle and joint health. These advantages also make Tai Chi suitable for parents who have been convicted of being unable to exercise. In fact, for those who suffer from arthritis, Tai Chi can still be done with little to no problem.

Another advantage is that this martial art from China can be done anywhere, because it doesn’t require special equipment or additional tools when you want to practice it. Not only that, whether done indoors or outdoors, individually or in groups, Tai Chi still provides health benefits just as effectively.

However, Tai Chi is one of those gentle activities that are mostly suitable for supporting seniors’s health with all these benefits :

1. Increases Flexibility and Balance

Other than being a calming activity like benefits of gardening for adults, Tai Chi does have a benefit in body fitness improvement. As you age, your body’s balance and nerve cell function decreases. Tai Chi is able to train the body’s balance, as well as help maintain nerve cells to function properly.

Furthermore, gentle Tai Chi style movements are a simple way to increase flexibility. In addition, this martial art is an easy way to maintain the vitality of the body. 

The ease of Tai Chi movements means that the body does not require a lot of energy when doing it. Research has even shown that older people who regularly exercise Tai Chi are at a lower risk of experiencing falls and injuries.

The movements in this martial art are not movements that can make the heart beat faster. The movements are calm, good for anyone, even professional athletes. For certain needs, Tai Chi exercises can also be combined with aerobic exercise.

2. Strengthen The Muscles

Aside from “curing” the body from the inside by having the benefits of intermittent fasting, you should do a little work out in order to stay healthy. For seniors, lifting dumbbells and weights wouldn’t be as easy as they were young. Thankfully, in order to strengthen their muscles, they can still do Tai Chi.

Doing Tai Chi is thought to improve upper and lower body strength. The core muscles in the back and abdomen are the parts that are strengthened thanks to Tai Chi exercises. Regularly performing Tai Chi movements can be equated with brisk walking and resistance training to strengthen muscles.

Apart from increasing muscle strength, muscle flexibility also increases. The strength and flexibility of these muscles will make it easier for a person to return to balance when stumbling.

3. Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Stress

Several studies have shown that diligently practicing Tai Chi can help lower high blood pressure. Other research says that this martial art can lower cholesterol levels in the body.

Based on the results of these two studies, it can be concluded that the routine of doing Tai Chi makes a positive contribution to heart health and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Tai Chi also has potential benefits for people who are suffering from diabetes. This martial arts exercise is predicted to improve blood sugar levels and the immune system in people with type 2 diabetes. One thing, make sure the exercises are carried out according to body conditions.

Another unmissable benefit of Tai Chi is its potential to lower stress levels. Several studies have shown that this martial arts movement is effective in treating depression symptoms and maintaining mental health.

4. Burning Calories

Just like the benefits of brisk walking, Tai Chi is also believed to be able to burn some fat within the body. Although synonymous with the term “softness”, Tai Chi also has movements that require speed and strength. 

Some of the movements even have the same characters as aerobics. This type of movement is good for those who are advised to do intense cardio exercise to get a faster heart rate.

Be Advised

Apart from the many benefits of following a Tai Chi routine, if you have certain medical conditions, it is advisable to consult a doctor first before doing this exercise. Especially for those of you who are pregnant, have experienced fractures, suffered from back pain, hernias, osteoporosis, or have joint problems.

Tai Chi sounds like a really refreshing thing to do, but still, you need to adjust it well with your own body condition. Don’t ever push the limit, since it only leads to the worst thing imaginable.