Tai Chi Helps Seniors Avoid Dangerous Falls

After a fall, many Seniors feel apprehensive about resuming their normal activities for fear of falling again.  Curtailing normal activities and exercise results in a loss of balance and strength, which only makes a person more vulnerable to another serious fall.

The National Council on Aging recognizes 14 exercise programs that may help people regain their lost balance and reduce the chances of falling again.  One of the most effective is Tai Chi.

  Part of the benefit of many fall prevention programs is the exercise they provide. But not all exercise is equal. In a study of 670 adults age 70 or older who had fallen at least once in the last year, tai chi adapted for fall prevention was more effective than a generic exercise program or a stretching routine. Adults who practiced tai chi 2 hours per week for 6 months were 31% less likely than those in the exercise group to fall again and 58% less likely to fall than those in the stretching group.

According to Peter Harmer, PhD at Willamette University,  “Tai Chi Chuan starts to reactivate the neuromuscular pathways that underpin your ability to control your body as it falls through space. ”

WebMd: Adding Tai Chi Helps Seniors Avoid Dangerous Falls


Thanks to Sue O. for submitting this link!


Tai Chi Helps Build Strength and Prevent Falls

People looking to “get back into” exercise would benefit from starting with Tai Chi.  Practicing Tai Chi for 1 hour, one to three times a week can help strengthen unused muscles, increase body awareness in space, and prevent falls.

In a review “of [the] 507 studies included in the 2015 review, 94.1 percent found positive effects of tai chi. These included 192 studies involving only healthy participants, 142 with the goal of health promotion or preservation and 50 seeking better balance or prevention of falls. ”

From Elizabeth Trout’s comment on Brody’s article:

  The main thing I want to share with you is that everything, EVERYTHiNG I do,
I do better because of Tai Chi. 

The original article appeared in The New York Times:  Using Tai Chi to Build Strength

Thanks to Janet S. for suggesting this link.