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Physical Wellness Month: Beginning Tai Chi for the Elderly

April 19, 2017

Senior Care in San Jose CA: Physical Wellness Month - Beginning Tai Chi for the Elderly
Senior Care in San Jose CA: Physical Wellness Month - Beginning Tai Chi for the Elderly
As the family caregiver for your aging loved one, you’ve wanted them to get more physically fit, but maybe haven’t known where to start. Then, you hear about some tai chi classes at the local senior center and wonder if your loved one might be interested. However, you don’t know much about tai chi and wonder if it really provides any benefits at all. The good news is that there’s no better time to learn about tai chi and all the advantages that seniors enjoy who do it. April is Physical Wellness Month, so if you have been wondering how to introduce more physical activity into your aging loved one’s life, take a closer look at tai chi.What Exactly Is Tai Chi?When the majority of people think of tai chi, they usually think of videos they may have seen of elderly Chinese citizens participating in exercises together in a park. Tai chi is an ancient martial art that originated in China and has evolved into a legitimate physical exercise program that has many health benefits. It’s a low-impact program that boosts both physical and mental health. The slow, graceful movements are deceptive because although they look easy, they require the full body to participate. Many studies have found that tai chi really benefits the body as well as the mind, because of the controlled breathing and meditative aspects of the activities.Where Can Seniors Do Tai Chi?As the popularity of tai chi has grown throughout the world, classes are easier than ever to find. Seniors can look for tai chi classes at community centers, senior centers, hospitals, fitness centers and more. There are many tai chi DVDs on the market that take seniors through beginning levels all the way up to more complex training. With modern technology, seniors can even participate in video streamed classes, either done live or pre-recorded. There are relatively few obstacles in place that prevent seniors from participating in tai chi if they really want to. Family caregivers and home care aides can drive seniors to local classes. Not only are tai chi classes easy to find, they are a wonderful social activity that can help seniors feel less isolated and lonely. Senior care aides can also remind seniors to start their DVD classes or help with video streams for regular participation.Starting Tai ChiSeniors that are just starting out with tai chi need to get clearance from their doctor that it is fine for them to participate. After locating a class or buying a DVD, seniors may first want to observe so they know what to expect from the activities. When they feel ready, they can join in slowly and build up to full participation. They only need supportive shoes with flexible soles and comfortable clothing that won’t bunch or bind as they complete the graceful movements. As with any exercise program, seniors should warm up and cool down properly and stay well hydrated. Family members and senior care aides can monitor them to make sure all is well as they exercise. With all the health benefits of tai chi, seniors can look forward to better balance, stronger muscles, reduced risk of disease and improved mental health. Celebrate Physical Wellness Mont h and see what you can do to encourage your elderly loved one to begin tai chi, and maybe even join them.If you or your loved one is looking for Senior Care or Placement Services in San Jose, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990 San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990

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