Each year, the CDC estimates 1 out of every 4 older Americans falls. About three elderly people per hour die from injuries related to a fall. Strengthening exercises are one of the best ways to prevent future falls. Tai Chi is one way for your parents to strengthen muscles and improve balance in a gentle manner.
The History of Tai Chi
Writings about Tai Chi first appeared during the Zhou Dynasty in 1100 to 1221 BC. The belief behind this form of martial arts is that there must be a balance in everything. There is always a yin and yang that work together to create balance.
Yin is meant to be gentle and feminine while yang is rigid and masculine. Pairing these concepts together in Tai Chi leads to harmony and relaxation. Meanwhile, the movements help build muscle and balance skills.
How Does Tai Chi Build Muscle?
When you practice Tai Chi, you won’t gain bulging muscles. It tones the muscles. Movements are gentle and fluid and have you stretching and reaching. You also work out the ligaments and tendons that connect muscles to bone. This makes the joints limber, which helps with balance and mobility.
In addition to the stretching and reaching exercises, you also focus on deep breathing techniques. This helps you relax, which reduces stress and anxiety. It can help with depression and insomnia.
Examples of Tai Chi Exercises
To get an idea of what exercises are part of Tai Chi, there are some examples.
-Stand straight with the feet about shoulder-distance apart. Stretch one arm out with the palm toward the ceiling and the other with the palm toward the floor. Position them so that they’re holding an imaginary ball. Imagine you’re manipulating that ball so that the top becomes the bottom. Make those hand movements as you’re moving that imaginary ball. Take deep cleansing breaths while you’re moving the ball around.
-Sit in a chair with the hands on the knees. The palms should be facing the ceiling and fingertips should be pointing to each other. Take a deep breath that makes the stomach push out as far as possible. While taking that deep breath in, raise the hands to the chest. As you raise the hands, twist them so that the palms are pointing away from you. Keep raising them over the head. Hold for a count of five and exhale while you lower the hands back to the original position.
Does your parent need help remembering to work the muscles every day? Is balance an issue and you’d feel better if your parents had help around the home? Elderly care services offer that help.
Caregivers can join your parents in daily activities. They can help with housework, drive your parents to local gyms for Tai Chi classes, and cook meals. To learn more about the fees, call an elderly care agency today.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Massapequa, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
Dorothy’s core expertise includes an extensive background of more than 38 years, focusing on Home Care, Senior Care and operating a successful in-home care agency.
In her spare time she enjoys her 5 grandchildren, gardening, skiing and competition 8-Ball.
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