Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle as you age is challenging, especially for those with certain medical restrictions. However, despite all the health issues, exercise is vital for every age group to maintain a healthy way of life.
Many exercises can aid in managing or preventing diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular issues, arthritis, etc.
Some of the most popular methods of exercise that have gained recognition are Yoga and Tai Chi.
In this article, we will explore how Yoga and Tai Chi can be beneficial for seniors or aging parents and how to provide them with all the safety measures and assistance they need.
Let’s Discover the World of Tai Chi and Yoga for Seniors!
Before getting deeper into the benefits of Yoga and Tai Chi, what first needs to be known is what exactly are Tai Chi and Yoga.
Hence without any further delay, let’s begin!
Tai Chi: What is it?
Since ancient times, Tai Chi has been practiced as a form of exercise in Chinese culture and is only now becoming more popular worldwide.
Due to its nature of blending the mind and body and invoking an individual’s athletic side, this exercise is particularly known to be advantageous for seniors.
Tai Chi has various forms, either with movements that are fast-paced or movements that are slow-paced.
Seniors are taught to control their breathing and improve their concentration, and the exercise is designed at a slower pace making it easier for the individuals to learn.
It offers numerous health benefits and helps older adults relax while also improving their cognitive abilities and focus.
Yoga: What is it?
Yoga is an ancient practice that helps people of all age groups reduce their stress and enhance their physical prowess.
It includes a variety of physical postures and breathing techniques that help people gain better control over their bodies and spirits.
Yoga is a flexible form of exercise, in terms of both, the benefits it provides and the postures. Because they can adapt their physical postures as per their abilities and physical needs, older people may find it to be very beneficial.
Benefits of Tai Chi and Yoga
Tai Chi and Yoga have proved to be some of the most effective exercises for older people. They not only improve your physical health but also significantly improve your mental well-being.
These are some of the benefits Tai Chi and Yoga offer that can help your elderly parents or grandparents feel better in every way, especially if they appear unfit or are simply having trouble with their age.
Physical Benefits of Tai Chi and Yoga
- Improved Balance and Flexibility: By working on leg strength, deliberate motions, reflexes, and balance, Tai Chi improves flexibility, stability, and resilience in elderly people. It strengthens the muscles in the legs and ankles, because of which the risk of seniors falling decreases to a large extent.
Yoga poses' slow and careful movements help seniors become more flexible and balanced, which can significantly lower their risk of falling and sustaining serious injuries.
- Promotes Healthy Living: It is a medically proven fact if Tai Chi and Yoga are practiced regularly, they reduce back pains and chronic conditions like arthritis and blood pressure. Not only that, but Tai Chi also helps with conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's, Cardiovascular, and Pulmonary Diseases - automatically making way for a healthier lifestyle.
While yoga, with its deliberate postures and meditative techniques, can help with diabetes, improve metabolism, reduce excess weight, manage pain, and strengthen muscles as well as the heart and circulatory systems.
- Improved Strength: Due to the slow and quick movements required by Tai Chi, seniors can progressively improve strength, agility, mobility, and endurance. This improvement in overall functioning can also lead to increased core strength which helps with balance and fall prevention.
With the help of Yoga asanas, seniors can improve stability in their joints and increase strength in their core muscles, leading to better endurance and health.
Mental Benefits of Tai Chi and Yoga
- Promotes Better Sleep: Tai Chi and Yoga are so much better than the anti-depressants or sleep medicines that frequently cause many side effects like drowsiness and memory loss in seniors.
Yoga is more effective than herbal remedies, and because both practices focus on relaxing the three main components: body, mind, and breath, it relaxes a person from the inside out, promoting better sleep.
- Promotes Emotional Well-being and Good Mood: Tai Chi and Yoga can provide a person with a break from the usual surroundings. Because of the activities involved in Tai Chi, seniors can experience a boost in their moods.
Yoga encourages relaxation as well by halting the body’s fight-and-flight response, resulting in significant stress relief from the body. Endorphins are released during both types of exercise, improving mood and feelings.
- Improved Cognitive Functioning: Memory loss and difficulty learning even basic concepts are common in older people. However, this won't be the case with the aid of Tai Chi and Yoga.
Yoga aids in changing the structure of your brain cells as well as their function, due to which cognitive abilities such as learning and memory can improve significantly.
Because Tai Chi uses martial arts to improve focus and movement, it has also proved to be helpful for people with dementia.
How to Incorporate Tai Chi and Yoga into Daily Life?
Tai Chi and Yoga do not demand any prior experience or knowledge.
There are also many community centres and fitness studios that offer Tai Chi and Yoga classes that are designed for seniors.
It is important to find a knowledgeable instructor who can properly guide you for movements and poses as per your bodily requirements.
Along with the physical studios, there are also online resources and tutorials available over the internet to help ensure safe procedures and provide visual guidance on how to do various poses that can aid with different health issues.
Can Yoga & Tai Chi Help With Fall Prevention?
Tai Chi and Yoga offer many benefits for seniors.
Engaging in these exercises not only benefits an individual physically but promotes mental well-being too.
With the help of Tai Chi and Yoga, older people can sustain their independence and enjoy a healthier and mobile lifestyle.
You would think that exercising would increase the risk of injuries and falls. However, exercising has the opposite effect as it can be quite beneficial in fall prevention.
Yoga and Tai Chi exercises in particular can be hugely beneficial in helping seniors gain better balance and have more confidence in their strides and movements.
Invest In Intouch Products For Improved Protection Against Falls
The main reason why seniors tend to get physically less active is largely due to the fear of falling and hurting themselves.
If a senior has experienced a fall in the past, chances are they will be a lot less confident in their movements.
If they restrict their movements their muscles and bones will weaken which will further increase the risk of falls and serious injury.
To help give them the peace of mind they need to continue to exercise and stay active devices such as automatic fall detection systems can be used to ensure that if a fall were to occur medical assistance and help is never too far away.
Our Intouch Products can help improve the overall quality of life in seniors giving them and their caregivers the peace of mind they need to continue to live independently and maintain an active lifestyle.
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