When you’re looking for a way to help your elderly loved one get more exercise, everything might seem to be too strenuous for her. Tai chi is one exercise that is gentle and safe for just about anyone. Always talk to your loved one’s doctor before starting any exercise program, even one as gentle as tai chi.
What Is Tai Chi?
Tai chi is an ancient martial art that has evolved in modern times to be a relaxing exercise on its own. It’s a graceful series of flowing movements that work together to teach your elderly loved one about breathing, movement, and even meditation. The best part about tai chi is that your loved one needs absolutely no special equipment or gear to get started with it right away.
Benefits of Tai Chi
Most people who practice tai chi do so for its meditative properties and because it can help to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. People who have breathing problems may also try tai chi frequently because it’s a way to move their bodies that is not taxing. Due to the structure of the exercise, however, it does help your loved one to breathe more efficiently. It can also help with flexibility and balance issues while helping your loved one to work her muscles.
How to Start Learning Tai Chi
There are a ton of different ways to get started with tai chi. If your loved one is a homebody, consider books, videos, or streaming classes to help her learn tai chi. Finding a tai chi class nearby can be a better plan, though. This allows your loved one to meet new people and also to work with an instructor who can help her to move properly. When your loved one becomes advanced, she may choose to work on her own at home as well.
If your elderly loved one has severe balance issues, it might be a good idea for her to make sure someone else is always present when she does tai chi exercises. Having other family members or senior care providers around for companionship at those times can be soothing for her and for you.