Medical technology offers much in the way of medicines and treatments. However, science has also discovered that many centuries-old practices can also boost health and wellbeing. The ancient practice of tai chi is one of the many exercises that provide several benefits to senior citizens.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Participating in 30 minutes of tai chi can burn up to 150 calories. By performing tai chi each day, seniors have the chance to burn approximately 55,000 calories in one year, which equates to 15 pounds. Along with burning calories, the practice also increases metabolism, blood circulation, balance, and flexibility. The physiological actions involved in tai chi help older adults maintain a healthy weight.
Performing tai chi is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly care. Portland, ME, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
2. Boost Bone Health
Studies performed at Harvard University show that tai chi maintains bone density, which is of particular importance to women past the age of menopause. Women diagnosed with osteoarthritis who practiced tai chi for six months were able to enhance their bone density. Scientists from Chungnam National University observed that six months of performing tai chi also enhanced walking abilities in older adults.
3. Enhance Cardiovascular Health
Physicians from the Kaohsiung Medical University published an article in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine explaining how tai chi was beneficial to the cardiovascular system. The activity is considered a light to moderate exercise that reduces the risk of developing heart disease, increases aerobic capacity, lowers blood pressure, and enhances muscle strength and psychological health.
Some seniors need help making healthy lifestyle choices that can boost their overall health. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance Portland to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
4. Boost the Immune System
Researchers at UCLA studied a group of seniors who participated in tai chi sessions for 15 weeks. After the study, half of the subjects demonstrated better immune systems. As older adults are susceptible to shingles outbreaks and other health issues, strengthening the immune system is important. The researchers believe the meditative activity that takes place while practicing tai chi plays a major role in reducing stress in the body and boosting the immune system performance.
5. Manage Pain
The gentle, fluid movements performed during tai chi affect the muscles, connective tissues, and joints by decreasing stiffness and reducing inflammation. Scientists from Soonchunhyang University in South Korea evaluated the effects of tai chi on 72 older adults. Half of the group performed tai chi routinely. After three months, the group who exercised reported having less pain and stiffness in addition to enhanced abdominal strength.
6. Prevent Falls
Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine evaluated the effects of tai chi on older adults living with Parkinson’s disease. After participating in 20 sessions, the seniors were better able to walk, and they demonstrated increased balance. Scientists at Emory University found that after participating in tai chi for 15 weeks, seniors reduced their fall risk by nearly 50 percent.
Helping a senior loved one maintain healthy habits can be challenging for family members. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Portland, ME, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our revolutionary in-home care options and how they can benefit your senior loved one, give us a call at (207) 835-4849 today.