The holiday season is here and here comes food and family! This Thursday is Thanksgiving and it is a great time to take stock of our lives and what we are thankful for. Here are 5 reasons to be thankful for Tai Chi:
1. Tai Chi Prevents Falls: Falls are a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in older adults. Falls in turn are also a leading cause of the loss of independence in older adults. Be thankful that Tai Chi improves strength and balance which reduces falls. It also leads to a reduction in the fear of falling which leads to fewer falls and empowers older adults to remain active. If older adults remain active, they can remain independent and continue to do daily activities as well as things they love with or without family – including cook dinner and play with the grandkids during thanksgiving.
2. Tai Chi helps you lose weight: There is so much good food to go around and with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays it seems like one feast after another. This is the time when everyone whips out special, beloved, delicious recipes at home and at work. This can disrupt your healthy eating patterns or aggravate already poor habits. The good news is while Tai Chi won’t have you huffing, puffing and sweating like crazy, it does burn calories and leads to weight loss. We are not giving you carte blanche to overindulge this season though. Enjoy the food in moderation and keep Tai Chi as part of a healthy diet and exercise regime to keep that waistline trim.
3. Tai Chi is fun! We all know we need to stay active to remain healthy. However, not all of us are excited to or capable of running 5 miles a day. When we do not enjoy activities they become a chore and we tend to try and avoid doing them, consciously or subconsciously. However, Tai Chi is different. Those who practice Tai Chi enjoy it and tend to stick to it. They enjoy the social aspect of classes or the ability to practice it in the privacy of their own homes. They also love that it is adaptable to their needs and physical abilities. Furthermore, they find it peaceful and relaxing. Traveling for the holidays or having family over should not disturb your willingness and ability to do Tai Chi. You can do it in the bedroom, the living room, the park…etc.
4. Tai Chi Keeps your Mind Sharp: No, Tai Chi will not stop your sister from telling that one story about that one day over and over again every time the family gets together. Maybe she just loves telling that story! However, Tai Chi helps keeps minds sharp. As we get older we lose brain volume and the pathways in the mind that communicate with the body deteriorate. Studies have shown that Tai Chi delays this deterioration, including brain shrinkage. Be thankful that you have another tool to keep you from literally losing your mind. So, while you may end up like your sister telling the same story over and over at least you won’t be the crazy aunt or uncle or grandparent who rambles incoherently.
5. Tai Chi Beats the Blues. Someone once said that guests and family are like fish. After 3 days they begin to stink. We love the holidays but they can also be a source of incredible stress. From the hustle and bustle of travel, getting dinner ready and figuring out sleeping arrangements to everyone criticizing each other about what they have or have not done with their lives. Throw in some alcohol and the dinner table is bound to erupt in hysterics at some point in time. That is the perfect opportunity to retreat to your room, the park, the garage or even the mall and do some relaxing Tai Chi. It helps you breathe easier, release stress and even alleviate depression. Be thankful you have a coping mechanism that can have you spend time with loved ones and go home in one peace.
Happy Thanksgiving from Tai Chi for Health. We are especially thankful for all of you!