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Parks and Recreation

Posted on: December 17, 2021

The Importance of Tai Chi

TAICHI

How Fall Prevention Relates to Tai Chi

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tai chiEvery second of every day, a U.S. adult (age 65+) suffers a fall, making it the leading cause of injury and injury death in this age group. Falling and the fear of falling leads to functional decline, which in turn leads to self-imposed activity restrictions. Understanding fall prevention and how it relates to Tai Chi could add value to your routine and double as a way to be physically active while socially distancing.

Evidence-Based Benefits

Balancing on one leg is a single point on a continuum with stability on one end and mobility on the other end. Every step taken requires the ability to stand on one leg for a very brief moment.  

If you want to improve the ability not to lose your balance resulting in a fall, you have to, in essence, “practice falling.”

Being aware of your space and anticipating, reacting to, and compensating to change to that space are at the heart of stability and mobility training. Establish a deep awareness of one’s Base of Support and train the body to react to changes in your Center of Gravity. Balance training must address all three proprioception triggers: visual, inner ear, and nerves/muscles. 

Tai Chi is Therapeutic and Sustainable

Tai Chi is functional, therapeutic, and sustainable. Its cognitive benefits include significant focus and spatial-temporal orientation. Memory is developed in terms of the sequencing of movements and specific execution of the forms. Executive functioning and full-body movements and postural demands blend both physical and mental development. Other benefits include calmness, better reach, functional mobility, enhanced mental ability, and socialization.

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