We live in a society that revolves more and more around sedentary activities. Depending on where we live, we drive almost everywhere, we sit at a desk all day at work, and when we get home, we sit and watch TV or simply relax.
The downfall to this lifestyle is that it’s not conducive to overall fitness, but more so to leg strength. As we get older and older our leg muscles become weaker and our bones (especially for women) become brittle. This puts older adults at an increased risk of falling. The stronger our leg muscles are, the less likely we are to fall.
However, a lot of exercise regimes are unfriendly to our lifestyles or to our joints and bodies. Older adults may not always have access to gym equipment for strength training and even when they do, it may not be advisable for them to use it.
That’s why Tai Chi is a brilliant choice for older adults. It is a low-impact exercise, therefore it’s kind to the joints and muscles. Also, Tai Chi can be practiced in the comfort of one’s home, without special equipment. This is especially important for older adults who may not feel comfortable venturing outside the home. This is common with older adults with health problems, or who fear of falling, either because they fallen before, or because they are at risk of falling due to weakness or illness.
Several studies have shown that Tai Chi increases leg strength and that it may even slow the loss of bone density in older women. Tai Chi activates ankle dorsiflexors and knee extensors “significantly longer and higher” than during walking. This is one of the ways Tai Chi strengthens the leg. Tai Chi also involves standing on one leg and constant shifting of weight back and forth, which works the leg muscles.
Therefore, Tai Chi is a viable alternative to pumping iron at the local gym. If you are looking to improve your leg strength, check out our latest DVD. It is designed with beginner’s in mind and is focused on strength and balance. Consider Tai Chi for Strong Legs Today!