Feeling unsteady on your feet? Fear of falling or losing your balance can cause you to miss out on life.
Is poor balance just part of aging, something you can’t help?
It doesn’t have to be.
Learn about Tai Chi for better balance and how it may be able to help you get back to living well.
• Is Tai Chi Good for Balance?
• How Can Tai Chi Help With Balance?
• 2 Ways Tai Chi May Help With Your Balance
• 3 Benefits of Implementing Tai Chi for Better Balance
• Tai Chi Can Help Improve Balance for People of All Ages
• How Long Does It Take to See Improvement in Balance When Practicing Tai Chi?
• Other Natural Benefits of Tai Chi That May Also Contribute to Improved Balance
• Experience Improved Balance and the Many Other Benefits of Tai Chi With Classes by Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi
Yes. For many people, the slow, controlled movements of Tai Chi help build strength in joints and can help create a more stable stance. Tai Chi is great for almost anyone, but it can be particularly beneficial for seniors.
With Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi, we have seen many people improve their balance through Tai Chi classes as they work toward being physically stronger.
When you think of a fitness class, you may envision a fast-paced aerobics class or heavy lifting. If you watch the gentle, graceful movements of Tai Chi, it may be hard to understand how it can help strengthen muscles and help improve balance.
What you see on the outside in a Tai Chi class can be deceptive, as a lot is happening inside that helps improve balance.
• Leg strength
• Range of motion
• Reflexes; and
… but it also serves as a form of meditation to help bring your focus inward.
Our minds are busy and often stressed — being pulled in many directions.
• Did I remember to lock the doors?
• I’ve got to schedule my dental appointment.
• I need to get a gift for my grandson’s birthday.
• The car needs an oil change.
• I feel guilty that I can't spend more time with my family.
• I’ll never feel like myself again.
It can get to be too much.
When your awareness is external, it can cause the energy inside your body to be “off.” And when there is a disconnection between the mind and body, some find it can negatively affect their balance.
Bringing the mind into the body, and being more grounded and centered, directly may affect balance. Tai Chi can help connect your mind and body, as it’s designed to help improve your energy circulation from head to toe.
For seniors, balance is often the first benefit they notice after beginning Tai Chi with a Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi instructor, thanks to a calmer and more focused mind.
Combined with mind awareness, the movements of Tai Chi can help with balance.
In Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi classes, we use Korean Tai Chi forms which combine similar elements from the Chinese Tai Chi Chuan method but contain important culturally distinct elements that make it unique to our practice. These can help to open your joints and strengthen your core through energy.
• Soft forms
• Held postures
• Hand strikes; and
• Smooth; and
… to help strengthen internal muscles that help to stabilize and support the body. Gentle resistance helps to build full muscular strength.
In Tai Chi classes, you’ll also learn how to properly transfer weight to help improve coordination and balance.
While Tai Chi movements may seem challenging, they can be tailored to anyone of any age or ability.Tai Chi for better balance can even be done sitting or lying down if needed.
Not only can Tai Chi help improve balance, but it can also help with falls and fear of falling.
• Transferring weight from one leg to the other
• Extending and retracting limbs; and
• Flexing joints
… all at the same time. This plays a large role in helping to improve your balance.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that one in three adults over the age of 65 fall each year.
When practiced regularly, Tai Chi can significantly reduce the risk of falls in seniors. A review published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that Tai Chi practice reduced falls by up to 50 percent.
Once you’ve experienced your first fall, the fear of falling is always present.
But do you know one of the biggest predictors of a fall? It’s the fear of falling. Fear of falling can make you more likely to fall.
Some studies have found practicing Tai Chi can help reduce that fear by helping you feel more confident on your feet.
Are you wondering, “Is Tai Chi good for balance for people who aren’t yet seniors?” The answer is yes.
While Tai Chi is especially beneficial for seniors, there are many reasons why people of all ages may have difficulty with balance.
• Parkinson’s disease
• Knee osteoarthritis
• Back problems
• Chronic ear infections
• A head injury
• Visual impairment; or
• Medication reactions
You’re eager to see results. But your experience with Tai Chi benefits will be personal.
• How often you practice Tai Chi
• Your mental and physical commitment
• Your current health and fitness levels; and
• Other medical or physical issues
If you practice Tai Chi around twice a week, it can take around two to four months to see improvement in balance. Remember, it’s not just your physical body you’re needing to train — you’re working on training your mind as well.
Tai Chi can improve both upper and lower body strength when practiced regularly.
The unsupported arm exercises in Tai Chi help to strengthen your upper body.
The repetition of Tai Chi movements helps to strengthen your lower extremities and core muscles of your back and abdomen, which can help improve balance.
Maintaining flexibility is important, especially for seniors.
Although flexibility is not usually a main goal of Tai Chi, it is often an added benefit. Tai Chi can help improve your upper and lower flexibility, as Tai Chi poses and postures flow from one to the next without pause.
• Balance; and
• Injury prevention
Practicing Tai Chi includes training your body to avoid slouching and rounding the shoulders through better posture. This can help to better align your body, reducing stress on your spine.
By standing up straight and practicing good posture, you will center your weight over your feet. Learning to better ground yourself with good posture can lead to improved balance.
With Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi, you’ll find a form of Tai Chi called DahnMuDo — meaning ‘the way of limitless energy.’
• Flowing; and
… movements derived from Qigong and the martial arts based on Tai Chi principles.
If you want to discover the answer to the question, “Is Tai Chi good for balance?” for yourself, click below to learn more.