Tai Chi Helps to Prevent Falls and Hip Fractures

Though we all start out young and fresh, aging is an unavoidable part of life. After an active lifetime of playing sports, working, caring for families and managing a household, your joints and bones become more vulnerable to injury. Falls and hip fractures are common orthopedic care issues treated in aging adults, but there are ways to reduce the likelihood that these will happen to you. One such method is through the practice of Tai Chi.

What is Tai Chi and Who Is It For?

Tai Chi is a series of movements and stretches originating centuries ago in ancient China. The combination of breathing, mental focus, and very deliberate muscle positioning in Tai Chi results in controlled movements that place little stress on the body. Tai Chi provides a great number of benefits and is an exercise method that can be performed by almost anyone, including those who have limited strength and mobility as it can even be done from a seated position.

How Does Tai Chi Work?

Similar to Yoga, Tai Chi uses body movements to stretch and strengthen many muscle groups in your body. The nature of the movements does not jar painful joints and actually improves comfort by keeping joints fluid and moving. After repeated practice, flexibility is significantly enhanced. The core muscles of the body become stronger and balance is improved. The patient becomes more stable, confident in their center of gravity, and graceful in their movements. Exercise in and of itself helps keep bones strong and the skeleton sound, and Tai Chi provides those benefits and more.

Research

Hip fractures can be a life-changing event for an older adult, and can even lead to early death. It is in building strength and balance that the incidence of falls and fractures are decreased substantially for those who practice Tai Chi versus those who do not. Tai Chi has even been proven to reduce the number of falls and fractures for orthopedic care patients who have suffered strokes, plus helps them recover their mobility and balance. In as little as three hours a week, an aging adult can vastly improve their orthopedic health and prevent nasty injuries.

Tai Chi is an exercise that can provide great benefits to both younger and older adults. More and more frequently orthopedic care professionals are incorporating this type of activity into their recommendations to sustain great orthopedic health for a lifetime.

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