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Life in Motion

Improve Your Balance With Tai Chi

Sports & Exercise

As we age, preventing falls is crucial to staying healthy, as falls are the leading cause of injury to seniors in the United States. One way that you can decrease your risk for a fall is by improving your balance. Our ability to balance is reduced as we age due to loss of muscle strength and joint flexibility, as well as reduced vision and reaction time. A regular exercise routine will improve all these factors that affect our balance.

Athletic Trainers in the NEBH Sports Performance Center explain that Tai Chi, which is an exercise involving slow, graceful movements while breathing deeply, is a great way to improve balance and strengthen the muscles in your legs. If you have never tried Tai Chi, a great introductory exercise routine is called “touch the sky”. Here is how you can try this exercise at home:

  • Start by standing with a slight knee bend (partial squat) with your fingers pointing towards each other and your palms up.
  • Take a deep breath and raise your hands to chest level in front of you as you straighten your knees out.
  • Next, turn your palms outward and lift your hands above your head, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
  • Exhale slowly and lower your arms to your sides as you again bend your knees into a partial squat.
  • Repeat this 10 times, especially before you perform more intensive exercises.

Always talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.

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