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5 Tai Chi Moves to Stay Fit at Any Age

We know that staying physically healthy and as fit as possible is good for us as we age. Tai Chi offers an incredible journey for those who participate, many of them seniors. But why? And how do we do it?

Benefits of Tai Chi for Seniors

Tai Chi is an ancient martial arts practice in which various positions are moved through, in a gentle flowing way. It’s a low impact exercise that can even be performed whilst sitting, so very gentle and yet helps to increase flexibility, mobility and focus. It’s also known to help increase coordination, circulation and balance and has been called the “longevity exercise”.

Those who practice regularly report that they see an improvements in:

  • Self confidence
  • Quality of sleep
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Reduction of stress and anxiety
  • Improved blood pressure statistics
  • Reduction of arthritis pain

5 Basic Tai Chi Moves

Before beginning, you’ll want to warm up your body and your joints a bit.

Warming Up
  • Stand (or sit) with feet should width apart.
  • Rest your arms at your sides.
  • Keeping your feet still, from the hips, rotate your body to the left and right gently.
  • Once you’re rotating, add in gentle swaying arms.
  • When you’re ready, add in your head and neck, rotating gently from side to side.
  • Repeat for approximately 2 minutes or until you feel warmed up.
Touch the Sky
  • Stand (or sit) with feet should width apart.
  • Rest your arms at your sides, palms facing towards your legs.
  • As you inhale, raise your arms out in front of you to chest height.
  • Turn your palms out.
  • Continue to raise your hands and arms above your head (to “touch” the sky).

Remember to breathe. Inhales usually are done with raising of arms and exhales are usually performed with pushing hands away from the body.

Inhale Exhale
  • Stand (or sit) with feet should width apart.
  • Rest your arms at your sides, palms facing towards your legs.
  • As you inhale, raise your arms out in a circle from your sides to above your head, palms up.
  • When your hands are above your head, bring your palms together.
  • With palms together, slowly lower your hands in front of you forming a “prayer” symbol (exhaling as you do this).
  • Lower hands to sides.
  • Repeat slowly for 3 minutes.
Rising and Sinking
  • Stand (or sit) with feet should width apart.
  • Rest your arms down, with palms facing towards (or resting on) your thighs.
  • Inhaling, slowly raise your hands up towards your chest, hands limp, elbows gently out to the sides.
  • Once your hands reach chest height, exhaling, drop your arms down in front of you (as if pushing something in front of you down).
  • The movement is complete when your hands rest against your thighs again.
  • Repeat for 3 minutes.
Holding Ball
  • Stand (or sit) with feet should width apart.
  • Rest your arms down at your sides, with palms facing towards the outsides of your legs.
  • On inhale, raise hands and arms up to chest height, palms facing each other.
  • Bring your hands and arms about halfway towards your body, elbows relaxed.
  • Your hands are in front of you as though you are holding a beach ball in front of your body.
  • Rotate your right hand over to the “top” and your left hand to the “bottom”.
  • This movement mimics holding a beach ball and rotating it in a circle.

Is Tai Chi Safe for Seniors?

Of course, as with the start of any new workout routine, always consult your doctor first with any questions about limitations or safety. Tai Chi is widely known for being safe for people of all ages. It can be easy to think we’re too old for a new routine or to be “working out”. But this simply isn’t true.

If you choose to take a Tai Chi class (outdoors or otherwise), inform your instructor that you’re new at it and if you have any concerns or limitations.

Sample Tai Chi Video

For a terrific sample and short Tai Chi workout, check out this video:

Or to watch directly from YouTube, click here. There are many Tai Chi classes in video that you can find online. If you have limited mobility or balance, it’s best to have someone with you as you do these movements.

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Do you have questions about how you can better support your loved one while they age in place in South Florida? Please contact CareGivers of America here: Contact or call us toll free: 800-342-4197

*This post is not sponsored, but may contain external links to websites, articles or product examples. External links are used for example or refence purposes only and these links do not indicate specific product or website endorsement by CareGivers of America.

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