Tai chi is a gentle form of exercise that can help reduce your stress, improve mood, and keep your heart healthy. But most importantly, it can also benefit your bones. This is great news, considering one out of four adults over 65 will experience a fall. Of those who fall, one in five will experience a broken bone. However, people who do tai chi reduce their fall risk by 20-40%, depending on how often they practice. So, if you want to stay upright and protect your bones, tai chi benefits may be your solution.
Protect Bones with Tai Chi
What is Tai Chi?
Tai chi is an ancient martial art that practices sequences of slow, graceful movements that promote both relaxation and fitness. While it can be practiced by people of all ages, it is a great way for older adults to grow their core strength and improve their balance. The reason tai chi is great for staying upright is that it addresses several risk factors, such as:
- Weak muscles
- Sensory deficits
- Slower reaction times
- Loss of focus
- Fear of falling
Bone Building Potential
Not only can tai chi keep you upright, but there is a possibility that tai chi can help in making your bones stronger. Some studies show that tai chi benefits may expand to preventing the common bone loss that occurs with age. That’s right, tai chi for osteoporosis might be possible.
Commonly, menopausal women see a steep reduction in the density of their bones. This is due to the reduction in estrogen that happens in menopause. The resulting loss of bone mass results in a thinning of the bones in a process called osteopenia. If the condition continues, your bones become brittle and prone to easy fractures. This condition is called osteoporosis.
However, tai chi is a weight-bearing exercise and slows the rate of bone loss. Weight-bearing exercises are the best for your bones. These exercises force you to move against gravity to strengthen bones. Other exercises such as swimming, biking, and hiking, can help build and maintain strong muscles, but do nothing for your bones.
Tai chi promotes bone growth and has shown to improve the early stages of osteopenia, however, the evidence is still limited.
Give It a Try
Interested in tai chi? Ask your onsite exercise professional about classes offered and how you can take advantage of tai chi benefits. Here are some other benefits you could reap from practicing tai chi:
- Relieves stress
- Improves leg strength
- Promotes deep breathing
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improves balance
- Helps in recovery from strokes and heart attacks
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Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio, independent living apartments, assisted living, rehab services, and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090.