As people age, they are at an increased risk of developing various health conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis. It can be even more challenging as older adults have limited mobility and energy to perform even daily tasks. Fortunately, there’s a way to combat all of these issues through the practice of tai chi— the ancient martial art form — which offers countless benefits to persons in their golden years. Here are some of the main advantages of tai chi.
Increase Energy & Aerobic Capacity
Engaging in a tai chi session can increase your energy and aerobic capacity, which almost everyone has been looking for as they get older. By engaging in a tai chi session, you will improve your blood circulation and breathe at a greater rate than you would have thought possible. You will also experience a considerable increase in endurance when you start tai chi exercises compared to before you began. As a result, you will be able to go about your daily activities without feeling tired or run down.
A positive mood can help aging adults live with greater comfort and grace. By doing tai chi regularly, aging adults may experience a decreased chance of developing depression or anxiety. A positive mood can help older adults live with greater comfort and grace. By doing tai chi regularly, they may also experience a decreased chance of developing depression or anxiety.
Lower Stress Levels
According to a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, tai chi effectively reduces stress among older adults. Researchers found that older individuals who completed eight weeks of tai chi training exhibited lower cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress. They also experienced less pain and depression than those who participated in balance and tone exercises.
UCLA researchers say regular tai chi practice can help improve muscle flexibility and range of motion. A recent study found that tai chi students had more hip rotation range of motion than people their age without tai chi experience. The benefits may extend beyond your hips; studies suggest that tai chi is linked to greater overall flexibility as well as better balance control.
Focus Your Mind
Tai chi teaches you how to turn off distractions and clear your head, focusing on one thing at a time. That means when you get home from work, you don’t immediately jump onto your phone or computer. By giving yourself a quiet hour before dinner to do whatever you please, you have a chance to let go of whatever stress or frustration has been building up during your day. Not only will that help keep cortisol levels down and stabilize blood sugar throughout the day, but it also helps give older adults an opportunity for mental stimulation outside of their daily routine which can help maintain cognitive abilities as they age.
Gain Muscle Strength
In a study of healthy but inactive seniors 65-83 years old, those taught tai chi twice a week for three months showed greater upper body muscle strength and endurance than those who only received a weekly health education program. To ensure a solid and active lifestyle as you age, it’s essential to engage in resistance and aerobic exercise regularly. Tai chi can be an excellent choice for older adults looking to increase their muscle strength without putting too much stress on joints.