We’re passionate about encouraging the older population to keep moving and be as mobile as possible and we have previously recommended yoga and pilates as great forms of exercise for improving physical and mental health, building strength and improving posture.
Thai Chi is another form of gentle exercise that is perfect for an ageing population as it combines deep breathing with large, sweeping motions done at a slow pace. You don’t need any special equipment or clothing and it can even be done while sitting down!
Practicing Thai Chi regularly improves flexibility, range of motion, strength and reflexes, which are all the physical components needed to stay upright. Improving these means less risk of falls and improved balance.
Studies have also shown that the muscle strengthening and stretching that you do while performing Thai Chi can help reduce pain from conditions such as arthritis.
Because it is a meditative exercise, it allows you to focus on deep breathing and become more aware of your body and movement. This enhances the feelings of calmness and tranquillity, helping to reduce stress. Studies have also shown that it can improve memory and thinking.
Thai Chi is suitable for people of all levels of fitness, so it is worth seeking out a class in your local area.
We would always recommend seeking advice from your GP before starting any new exercise.