You’re only as old as you feel, right? As ever more Baby Boomers receive their AARP cards, they’re quick to point out that they don’t feel old—and side-by-side comparisons of what a 60-year-old looks like today and what a 60-year-old looked like when Boomers were growing up shows that they don’t look nearly as old, either.
Seniors today are eating better and paying more attention to their health than generations past, and they’re also staying more active. But unfortunately, no matter how many times you tell yourself “70 is the new 30,” there are a few undeniable truths about aging that even the healthiest amongst us can’t avoid, and chief among those is that our aging (and aching!) bones and joints are increasingly affected by the activity we do.
Fortunately, there are many low-impact activities that seniors can participate in to stay active. Amongst these options is the Taoist Tai Chi arts, which not only brings the benefits of movement to seniors but has also been proven as an option for non-medical pain relief.
This slow-moving activity can help relieve stress, anxiety, and even depression; improve strength, flexibility, and stamina; and improve sleep quality and immune health. Harvard researchers found that tai chi helps older adults improve their balance and reduce falls and other accidents, as well as lowering their blood pressure, and a study earlier this year revealed that tai chi created more relief for fibromyalgia patients than other physical activities recommended for people suffering from the condition.
Though we can’t call the Taoist Tai Chi arts a miracle cure for seniors with limited mobility, balance problems, or chronic pain, we can say that the combination of low-impact aerobic exercise, attention to breathing and balance, and mind-body focus provides seniors who couldn’t or didn’t lead active lifestyles before to get up, get moving, and feel the best they have in ages.
After all, if we’re going to live longer, we might as well enjoy it!