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How Is Tai Chi Healthy for the Elderly?

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese practice that involves making slow, focused movements while breathing deeply. This exercise has several benefits for seniors because it can help alleviate a number of health issues. Kitchener caregivers want to share a few of those benefits with you and your senior loved one.

Counters Depression

Many seniors are prone to depression, often because of loneliness, underlying medical conditions, or the loss of a loved one. Tai chi helps fight stress, boost mood, and promote sleep, eventually relieving depression. When this low-impact exercise is done in groups, it helps the elderly interact and form new relationships with others, which combats loneliness.

Increases Balance

Seniors are often vulnerable to falls and injuries, which is mostly due to poor balance. Studies indicate practicing tai chi reduces falls in seniors by up to 45 percent. Tai chi shifts the body from one side to the other, using muscles that are normally dormant and increasing range of motion. This ancient practice strengthens leg muscles and reflexes, which tend to weaken with age, increases balance, and reduces the risk of trips and falls.

Lowers High Blood Pressure

Most seniors are concerned with their blood pressure levels, which can lead to life-threatening diseases if not controlled. The gentle, slow movements of tai chi increase blood circulation and pulse pressure and aid in reducing anxiety and stress, both of which are associated with hypertension.

Treats Arthritis

Studies have shown more than 34 percent of people who are at least 65 years old develop osteoarthritis, which is normally associated with lack of movement. Tai chi strengthens muscles, facilitates movement, loosens joints, and increases physical capacity, all of which can help treat arthritis. Enhanced range of motion aids in knee flexibility and helps stretch muscles in the upper body, and eventually alleviates pain in bones, joints, and muscles.

Regular exercise is essential for your loved one’s physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. If he or she needs help maintaining an exercise routine, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can ensure your loved one remains safe during physical activities and make sure he or she is reaping the full benefits of each exercise. For more information on in-home care Kitchener families trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 to request a no-obligation consultation.