• Home
  • |
  • Blog
  • |
  • Tai Chi: Is It The Best Exercise For The Elderly?

October 16, 2013

Tai Chi: Is It The Best Exercise For The Elderly?

tai chiTai Chi and the Elderly

Known for its aerobic benefits, Tai chi can also improve muscle strength. This is great news for the millions of elderly who struggle to maintain their muscle mass and strength as they age. The health benefits of Tai chi are many especially for the elderly. In fact, Tai chi may be the best exercise for the elderly.

Tai chi is a traditional Chinese mind-body exercise that is gaining acceptance worldwide. It is easy on the joints which makes it particularly beneficial for the elderly, but people of all ages can benefit from Tai chi. Don’t be fooled by advertisements and TV commercials showing only the elderly performing Tai chi – middle-age individuals can benefit from Tai chi, too.

Is Tai Chi the Best Exercise?

A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology showed that individuals who practiced Tai chi 1.5 hours a week for three years had healthier blood pressure, vascular resistance, and pulse pressure and greater arterial compliance. Basically, this means they had more flexible youthful blood vessels. They also had greater strength in the muscles around the knee joint. This is why some consider Tai chi to be the best exercise for the elderly.

The study involved 65 elderly individuals from Hong Kong. Twenty-nine practiced Tai chi and the other 36 did not and served as controls for the study. The improvement in arterial compliance was in the range of 40% to 44%.  This was the first study designed to look at arterial compliance.

It is felt that the improvement in arterial compliance could be multi-factorial and related to aerobic training, stretching, meditation, and mental concentration resulting from the practice of Tai chi. Other benefits of this ancient practice include better memory and balance, both critical in the elderly.

Tai chi also has practical benefits. It does not require equipment and can be practiced really anywhere and at anytime that fits into one’s schedule.  Some fitness clubs do offer classes, and there are plenty of DVDs and videos (some on this website) one could buy enabling them to practice this traditional Chinese mind-body exercise in the convenience of their home.

See related articles.

Tai Chi Improves Memory And Thinking

Staying Young With Tai Chi

 

Related Posts

Fatigue: Causes and Forms of It

Fatigue: Causes and Forms of It

Barefoot Your Way to Better Health: What is Earthing?

Barefoot Your Way to Better Health: What is Earthing?

The Exercise Treadmill Test

The Exercise Treadmill Test

How To Age Faster And Die Younger

How To Age Faster And Die Younger

Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}