Tai Chi Helps Seniors Stay Fit - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Tai Chi Helps Seniors Stay Fit

It's probably the most popular New Year's resolution... to work out and lose weight, and that's a great plan if you take it slow, no matter how old you are.

Stairs might look pretty scary to some seniors, not to Marvin Johnston... anymore. He'll be 82 next month, and he says what he's been doing keeps him upright and balanced.

"I fell a number of times, and it helps me a lot. The hard part is doing it on one foot," says Marvin Johnston.

It is Tai Chi, an ancient discipline that's been called "moving motivation." But actually, this is doing more than just motivating these seniors.

"No more arthritis pills," says Marge Fisher.

"Many of our seniors deal with arthritis and chronic joint pain and the Tai Chi does not aggravate but enhance and improves mobility," says Larry Sava, Wellness Director, HealthPoint.

That's not all. According to a report in fitness news, men and women ages 58 to 70 who practiced Tai Chi for one hour, four or five times a week, saw an improvement in cardiovascular fitness. In other words, they were no longer breathless after walking briskly or climbing stairs. Long term, they lost weight, became more flexible and felt less pain.

This class might add, they're happier, too.

"Listening to them talk about their stories, how they're more involved in occasions. Rather than sit back and watch everybody, they're able to go up steps an be with family and grandchildren," says Larry Sava.

"It gives me energy and it helps me sleep better at night, and I'm more relaxed," says Orvita Persons, Tai Chi class member.

Normally, about 20 youngsters attend these Tai Chi classes, many of them are over 80, like Marge, who says this might be the best kept senior secret around.

"$50 a year!" she says.

Sunds like a good gift idea if you're looking for something for a parent or grandparent. For just $50 a year at HealthPoint, seniors have a long list of classes they can join, from Tai Chi, and there are many different levels, to creative writing, to computer lessons -- lots of healthy programs to help the body and mind.

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