Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Benefits of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a low impact, relaxing form of exercise that has been described as the ‘longevity exercise’ for its health benefits. It blends mental, spiritual and physical aspects into 19 movements and one pose.
Tai Chi devotees can be seen in the park, at the beach and in many fitness environments and health care facilities.    Tai Chi is traditionally done standing but can be adjusted for those who need to remain seated. It requires no equipment, nor a special environment. If you can’t get to a class there are many good Tai Chi videos on You Tube to teach you, so you can do Tai Chi in your own home.
Some of its health benefits include:

Relieves mental and physical stress
Promotes deeper breathing
Improves lower body strength and stamina
Reduces arthritis pain
Reduces blood pressure
Requires mind and body integration through mental imagery
Helps release endorphins (our happy hormones) rather than depleting them
Improves concentration and alertness
Improves balance and lower body stability

The structure of Tai Chi helps you stay focused and it becomes a therapeutic series of flowing movements that create peace and harmony throughout your body and mind.   It follows the 70% rule which means you only do 70% of what you can do. This rule of moderation is especially important for some older adults whose bodies aren’t able to recover as quickly from strains or overuse injuries.
If you are recovering from injury and thinking of taking up a form of exercise, Tai Chi may be a good stepping stone for you. By following the 70% rule you will give your body a chance to heal and to regain mobility. From there don’t let your Tai Chi sessions slip away, instead let it become the curative compliment to your more strenuous daily or weekly activities.
Balance can become an issue as we age which can result in a lack of physical confidence.  Tai Chi in conjunction with other forms of strength and weight shifting exercises, will help your balance, coordination and confidence.  Focusing on energy flow to and from your legs will improve your strength and mobility.  This combined with the rhythmic gentle breathing Tai Chi promotes makes it a very restorative form of exercise much needed in today’s rushed and frantic world.   We often assume if we are not huffing and puffing we are not doing much for our bodies. Regular Tai Chi will do a whole lot more for you than you may realise.  As Confucius said “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”.
If you’d like to gain more out of your life then call Glen or Jacqui at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222 for a free session.

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