Monday, December 29, 2008
In the study, 24 people with early stage dementia participated in an intensive 40-week program. The intervention included biweekly sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups, along with three sessions per week of traditional Chinese martial arts exercises and meditation, called qigong (chee-gong) and Taiji (tye-jee).
Participants in the program benefited in a variety of ways. After 20 weeks, those in the treatment group improved in several measures of physical function, including balance and lower leg strength, while those in the comparison group did not. There were also positive cognitive and psychological effects, Burgener said.
“We saw gains in self-esteem in the treatment group and pretty severe declines in self-esteem in the comparison group,” she said. “Those in the treatment group also had sustained and slightly improved mental status scores, which meant we were impacting cognitive function.”
To read more about the study click on the link
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
"Dr. Wang's group studied 40 patients who met ACR criteria for knee osteoarthritis and had a body mass index of at least 40 kg/m2.
They were randomized to a 12-week intervention of one hour twice a week with either group Tai Chi sessions or stretching exercises plus education on osteoarthritis, diet and nutrition, and physical and mental health.
The groups were statistically similar at baseline, although the control group tended to have worse osteoarthritis and health status.
By the end of the exercise intervention, the stretching group remained fairly similar to baseline with a decrease of just 38.5 points on the 500-point WOMAC pain scale (95% confidence interval -87.2 to 10.3) whereas the Tai Chi group had a 157.3-point drop in pain (95% CI -198.5 to -116.0).
Among the secondary outcomes, the findings for Tai Chi compared with the stretching control group at 12 weeks included:
Improved physical function scores (change -506.8 versus 182.2 on a 1,700-point scale, P=0.001)
Better self-reported global functioning (change -3.0 versus -0.8 on a 10-point scale, P=0.003)
Better physician-reported global functioning (change -3.2 versus -1.4 on a 10-point scale, P=0.0009)
Improved chair stand test time (-12.0 versus -0.9 sec, P=0.0005)
Increase self-efficacy (0.6 versus -0.1 on a scale of one to five, P=0.04)
Greater reduction in depressive symptoms (-7.4 versus -0.7, P=0.009)"
To read more of the article click on the title link above.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Qigong(Chi Kung) is thousands of years old, and is sometimes referred to as "Chinese Yoga". It is the predecessor of Tai Chi. Both systems are exercises, but they are also internal arts as they move or exercise the "CHI" or internal energy. If our energy systems are in good working order, we have the capability to keep our body in a healthy state, which includes appropriate weight. So why do we have to work at, or cultivate our chi? Why doesn't our body balance itself automatically? We have a common enemy against this natural process, and that is stress.
From the moment of conception; our mother's and father's chi or life force combine to form "life". At that moment, if there are no genetic problems our energy is balanced. We are, even in the womb subject to stress, mostly of a physical nature. Is our mother eating properly, is she resting, is she in a safe warm environment, is she using drugs which may affect us, drinking alcohol, smoking, or is emotionally stressed? All of these environmental factors play a role in our prenatal development. So even before we are born, stress can negatively influence our health.
What kinds of stresses are there? Mental: Loss of loved ones, illness in family, abuse, financial worries, children's welfare, relationships difficulties, work pressure, time pressure. Physical environment (hot/cold), shelter, air and water quality (pollution), food starvation or abundance or poor food choices, food additives, pesticides, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, injuries, exposure to contagious disease.
All of these stresses challenge our body's ability to keep the balance of health. Are you wondering how Qigong can affect this? The flow of chi or internal energy is natural, but these stresses can cause it to become blocked, so how we can help it flow through our systems to keep us in balance is to practice these slow moving, breathing, loosening exercises to help restore the flow.
The energy pathways are not physical like blood vessels or nerves but are the areas where the energy flows, similar to the magnetic forces around the earth: they are unseen, but present. If we internally and externally relax, we can help the flow improve. By aligning the body, breathing slower and deeper, and focusing and emptying the mind (meditation) we can positively influence the flow of this energy and therefore improve our health. We can further stimulate the flow by moving our weight from one foot to the other in a slow relaxed manner; this stimulates the lower endpoints of the energy pathways and helps to improve the circular flow. (It is also where we train the body for the balance). The mind focusing on the finger tips helps the energy flowing to the upper endpoints also, and thus completing the circuit. It's just like using Draino on a clogged drain; as we loosen the physical body and breath and the mind relaxes the "chi" is able to flow properly and efficiently through the pathways.
Our bodies are not just mechanical devices. The mind is highly connected to all our body's functions. When we sense danger, we produce hormones (cortisols) that affect our heart rate, blood pressure, respiration etc. These hormones are useful in the short term, they give a boost to our breathing, allow faster circulation to our muscles to provide more oxygen and then we can escape from danger! They even tell our bodies to store fat for the emergency! But if stress triggers these emergency hormones to be released full time, it causes negative side effects. So de-stressing is very important to maintain our systems' balance.
Studies have shown that even the immune cells related to varicella zoster (first experienced as chicken pox and sometimes later on as shingles) can be influenced by energy work, and to the extent that in one study a rise of 50% in those cells was seen in the tai chi group compared with the control group. More research may soon show that these practices will be seen to provide support to the immune system in general, helping us to stay healthier.
So source a Qigong or Tai Chi class in your area today, you'll get a lot more than just a workout
Thursday, September 25, 2008
1. Commencement of Tai Chi - both hands float up on an imaginary balloon and then slowly lower down. Breath is slowly in and breathe out when hands reach the top. Then breathe slowly in and out again as the hands lower. Keep shoulders relaxed and neutral.
2a. Polishing the Emperor's Mirror: Arms facing outward, lift the hands up overhead then turn the palms towards you, cross at the wrists as you lower them down to start position. Breathe in on the way up and slowly out on the way down.
2b. Polishing the Emperor's Mirror: Both hands dig under the feet and pull up from the ground through the body to the top of the head. As if a fountain let the arms circle out away from the body back down to the start position.
3. Waving Hands like clouds: Shifting left and right arms circle waving out and touch the table or or lazy swimmer.
4. Big Wave: bring hand across the body and turn the palm to wave the arm up overhead, reach behind your back with the little finger leading down to the earth, shifting side to side if desired. Repeat on both sides.
5. Slanting Flying: Hold a ball on the left side of the body, left hand on top right hand on bottom. Slowly shift to the right and raise the right hand as if serving out a cup of tea. At the same time the left hand presses down near the left hip. Repeat on the other side. ( Right hand on top of ball, left hand on bottom shift to left raising up the left palm and lowering the right hand pressing down near the hip. )
Enjoy your practice!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Interesting article about feet and barefoot training:
by Helen Vanderburg published by The Calgary Herald 2008
There is a growing movement amongst some runners to abandon shoes and go barefoot.
These runners point to famed two-time Olympic marathon champion Abebe Bikila who ran barefoot as well as famed-Olympian South African Zola Budd.
What Is It?
Barefoot training is gaining popularity with coaches, personal trainers and runners. The idea behind barefoot training is that our technically designed shoes may actually give us too much support, cushioning and stability, making the muscles and neuromuscular pathways of the foot and ankle weak and "lazy."
By training barefoot, some believe we can re-activate the small muscles in our feet, make them stronger and therefore improve our balance and sports performance. Yoga, tai chi, running and dance can all be done barefoot.
Barefoot training is controversial and, at this point, it lacks substantial research to support it for everyone. We are all built differently and some people need more support than others.
Like any training program, start slowly. If you haven't run barefoot since you were a kid, you will likely experience some initial soreness.
To prevent injuries, you may want to start with an indoor activity first.
Start with five to 10 minutes once a week of barefoot training on a soft surface such as a rubberized mat. Gradually increase the time or number of times per week spent training in bare feet.
Try a non-impact or low impact activity like yoga, Pilates and tai chi in bare feet before walking or running. Or try a soft shoe such as the Nike Free, which simulates the feeling of being barefoot more than most shoes.
When it comes to outdoor activities, it's important to start on flat, preferably cushioned, surfaces like grass and ensure you have good lighting to prevent stepping on something you shouldn't. Wait until any initial soreness in your feet goes away before re-attempting another barefoot run or outdoor activity.
Who Would Like It?
If you've always enjoyed being barefoot, it might not be hard to convince you to try some activities without your shoes. Go slow and use common sense.
Who Wouldn't Like It?
Going barefoot is not for everybody. And being barefoot outdoors can be hazardous. Nothing takes the joy of exercise away faster than pain or injury.
If you have had any foot or ankle problems in the past, or if you have diabetes, balance problems or a vascular condition, consult your physician or health-care professional first.
The Sweat Factor
Taking off your shoes and performing the same exercises you used to do with your shoes on is an entirely new experience. For example, try standing on one leg with your running shoes on. Then try it in bare feet. Try to do alternating front lunges with and without your shoes on.
If you're like me, you'll see just how hard the foot, ankle, knee and hip have to work to make this movement happen without shoes and just how much stability your shoes give you. Don't worry; the great news is that you're actually strengthening your entire body.
The Klutz Factor
After years and years of wearing shoes, most people become dependent on the stability that shoes offer. In fact, most people feel naked going outside without shoes. If you have balance problems or are apprehensive about exercising shoeless, don't do it. Just because someone else does doesn't mean you should.
Going barefoot is free. Training appropriately for barefoot walking and running requires coaching. The cost of coaching varies, depending on how serious you are about the training. If you are are looking for general fitness and healthy feet, you don't need to invest any money. But if you want to run a 10K barefoot, I highly recommend a professional training program. Don't just take off your shoes and start running. Ouch!
Where to Get It?
Train barefoot at home, in a park or at a yoga studio. Be aware that most fitness facilities will not allow bare feet in the gym because of the health and safety hazards associated with gym equipment.
If you train outdoors, it is recommended you wear lightweight shoes to prevent injury.
Calgary has many personal trainers who incorporate barefoot training for athletes; check out chirunning.com.
Being barefoot is not new. That being said, if you decide to go barefoot, use good common sense, go slow and consult your health-care professional if you have questions.
Helen Vanderburg is a renowned trainer, corporate wellness speaker and owner of Heavens Fitness.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
It wasn't until many years later, that I actually learned how to do it properly and why it was a self healing internal art.
At first glance it seems to be all arms and hand movements - A sort of slowed down martial arts movie, but later after many years of participating, listening and observing, I now understand how it is all about the core of the body moving, massaging, advancing, retreating and a lot less about the 'prettiness' of the moves.
Still the love of the movement was what kept me interested all these years, and for that I am grateful.
I remember one wet Sunday in the winter when we retreated from our outdoor class, to our teacher's rec room to watch movies of some old tai chi masters, including his father and his teacher from Hong Kong.
I remember being confused as to why they moved so little, so inconspicuously that I really didn't 'get' it.
Our teacher David Lau kept telling us that Tai Chi is an internal art, yet with external moves. and still I couldn't let go of the external perception which was my own benchmark.
One broken leg later, I was forced to turn my practice inward and found the deeper movements of tai chi. Did I really need to break my leg to find this out? Maybe.
I now look at Tai Chi in a totally different way. I work at my moves from the inside, I align myself without physical strength, although the strength is there.
I now understand a bit more of the many pearls of wisdom that I heard but did not understand at the time.
This is why I tell my students, it doesn't matter how beautiful it looks, it's more important how it feels.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Private or semi private 1.25 hour classes weekly, biweekly or monthly - you decide. $60 per class.
416 686 2466
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
If you have never tried Tai Chi or you have tried the traditional way of learning, and found it unsuccesful you will love this class.
It can also be a great additional class for experienced Tai Chi players.
A. Chi (energy) boosting Qigong warm up for 15 minutes.
B. Tai Chi forms for 35 minutes
C. 5 minute meditation.
D. 5 minutes self massage.
You will leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and positive.
I have studied classical Tai Chi & Qigong for the past 25 years. I wish everyone had the time, place and access to wonderful teachers to learn what I have. The reality is; most people don't.
By simplifying the Essential Elements and Principles; I have created an EASY to follow program that will give the benefits of doing Tai Chi and Qigong without the difficult footwork or the need to memorize.
Having a busy schedule won't put you behind if you miss a class. Since we are not learning a sequence, every class is stand alone. In addition each student will receive a home study book for reference.
Class is designed for all levels including disabled participants.
Please come try it out!
Monday, June 2, 2008
Our bodies are not just mechanical devices. The mind is highly connected to all our body’s functions. When we are stressed, we produce hormones that affect our heart rate, blood pressure, respiration etc. These hormones are useful in the short term; they give a boost to our breathing, allowing faster circulation, delivering more oxygen to our muscles so that we may escape from danger!
Long term sustained stress (causing these emergency hormones to be produced full time) can not only make you feel bad, it can weaken your immune and other body systems and cause you to be vulnerable to many diseases. One answer is to try to de-stress often to lessen the negative effects by using modalities such as Tai Chi & Qigong.
Other Benefits may include:
A drug free, deeper restorative sleep
Some pain relief with your body's own natural endorphins
Improvements in your balance, flexibility, strength, and joint mobility
An increase in immune cell response
Regulation of blood pressure
Improvement in bone density
Improvement in Respiration and Whole Body Relaxation
Better focus and ability to concentrate
Why I’m doing this:
I have studied classical Tai Chi & Qigong for the past 25 years.
I wish everyone had the time, place and wonderful teachers to
learn what I have.
The reality is; most people don’t.
By simplifying the Essential Elements and Principles;
I have created an EASY to follow program that will give the benefits of doing Tai Chi and Qigong without the difficult footwork or the need to memorize.
Having a busy schedule won’t put you behind if you miss a class. Since we are not learning a sequence, every class is stand alone. In addition each student will receive a home study book for practice.
Come try it out!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
OPENING AND CLOSING WINGS LIKE A DOVE
1. Hold a 'balloon' in front just above the navel.
2. Shoulders always sinking down to the hip joint, elbows slightly lower than hands.
3. Feet under hips pointing straight ahead
4. Slight bend in the knees
5. "Sitting on an invisible high chair"
6. Lift from the crown ( back of the head) and slight tilt to the pelvis to drop the tailbone.
1. Breathe in and expand the balloon, until the arms and shoulders RELAX and fall back and down,
2. Feel the scapulae roll inward to meet each other. Breathe out slowly while relaxing this move.
3. Start to breathe in again slowly as you let the (still softly curved) arms come back to hold the balloon in beginning posture.
4. Breathe out as you press the balloon into your body and relax the shoulders and chest again and allow the chest to slightly sink inwards.
Repeat slowly 4 or 5 times taking rests frequently and shake out gently if you feel tension.
PRESS DOWN BEHIND THE NECK AND LIFT TO HOLD UP THE SKY
Posture same as first exercise, Breathe as necessary do not hold your breath.
1. Hold balloon under the navel fingertips almost touching palms facing up.
2. Raise the arms up overhead in this postition, palms facing the head, arms curved (like a ballet pose)
3. Press the palms down behind the head to the shoulders near the neck.
4. Turn the palms facing up, straighten the arms about 80% and hold up the sky, elbows stay bent, try to drop the shoulders and breathe out here.
5. Pull the fingers straight up lifting the hands and bring them back to back, elbows still bent.
6. Imagine parting the curtains to shoulder width with the fingers, and then drop the shoulders, then the elbows and the fingers will slide down the curtains on either side of your body, right down to the floor.
7. Relax the arms, shoulders completely and then softly curve the arms in front to hold the balloon again as in beginning movement.
Repeat slowly 4 or 5 times taking rests frequently and shake out gently if you feel tension.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Chilled milk from martial art By Emily Allen
A herd of cows is living a stress-free life thanks to one farmer's new Tai Chi moooves!
Organic milk producer Miles Saunders, of Step Farm, Faringdon, has taken up Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese martial art, to help his cows relax.
The 44-year-old regularly performs a series of moves in the field in front of his 300-strong herd, in an attempt to spiritually uplift them.
He is hoping to boost the quality of their milk by increasing the levels of well-being in each pint.
Mr Saunders, who is three weeks into his new regime, said: "Tai Chi promotes well-being, health and a good lifestyle and as an organic milk producer, we like to keep all the cows calm, quiet and well-balanced with their diet and housing.
"We thought Tai Chi correlated nicely with this. It's just an extra thing really.
"I go out when I get the chance, about three or four times a week. I do a series of slow moves in the field and the cows find it interesting.
"The most important thing is it gives us happy, quiet cows. Anything that keeps them quiet is a good thing.
"It's hard to say at this stage if it's beneficial or not but the interest the cows show you, shows they enjoy it. They look very inquisitive too, which is a sign of healthy cows. They like to come up to me and have a good look."
An article in a trade magazine inspired Mr Saunders to test the technique about a month ago.
He began referring to the organic milk producers' website love-om.comcorr which lists seven different moves for farmers to try each day of the week.
Mr Saunders's five-minute routine begins when he moves his arms up and down as he imagines stroking his cows.
This is followed by a move to the left to symbolise cradling a calf before he widens his arms to part the hay.
The move is completed with outstretched arms, as if to survey the field, before pushing an imaginary fork into the ground.
Mr Saunders, who believes he is the longest-standing organic milk producer in the country, said: "The bottom line is we're trying to produce really good quality organic milk and with the benefits of Tai Chi, this will filter through to the consumer.
"That's the most important thing.
"It has many benefits for me. It gives me a chance to have quiet time and be among the cows. It also gives me a chance to have a really good look at the cows and make sure they're all healthy.
"Ten years ago, people dismissed tai chi, but now a lot of people are realising it works."
7:20am Saturday 10th May 2008
By Emily Allen
Saturday, April 12, 2008
This NO MEMORIZATION class will feature postures, breathing and meditation.
If you have never tried Tai Chi or you have tried the traditional way of learning and found it unsuccesful you will love this class.
A. Chi (energy) boosting Qigong warm up for 15 minutes.
B. Tai Chi forms for 45 minutes
C. 10 minute meditation.
D. 5 minutes self massage.
You will leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and positive.
Read further down the blog for some of the benefits of these arts.
Due to space and my desire to have a small class,a limited number of spaces is available.
Participants may take the first class free by registering by phone at 416.463.1719
or email me and I will help you!
NO MEMORIZATION - YOU WILL LOVE THIS CLASS!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
2. Tai Chi can be done in work clothes in an office.
3. Tai Chi can help employees get along.
Tai Chi’s a Natural for the Office
One thing that makes Tai Chi uniquely ideal for the workplace is that it requires no special clothing or equipment. If you have 15 minutes and a quiet room, you are all set to experience some amazing stress reduction and energy boosting.
Since Tai Chi is so slow and gentle, you often need not work up a sweat when taking a Tai Chi break. By simply loosening your tie or kicking off your heels, you are all set. In fact, Sitting QiGong or simple Moving QiGong can be done right at your desk. As employees become more adept at these tools of breath and relaxation, they’ll use them throughout the day to reduce stress and boost performance.
Investing in Tai Chi Programs
There are several ways companies can invest in Tai Chi. Some companies passively promote Tai Chi, offering a space for employees to practice during lunch or after work. Others do much more.
The best Tai Chi and Stress Management seminars are optional. Provide employees with the option of working or attending the seminar, but do not make the seminar mandatory. Most people will opt for the seminar to get a break from work anyway, but the quality of the seminar is completely different if the employee has chosen to be there. This is the first step in an employee creating his own healthy lifestyle. If it’s someone else’s idea, we resist, but if we feel empowered to change ourselves, we have a vested interest in a positive outcome.
Some companies may reward Tai Chi practitioners with a 30-minute morning break, if instead of drinking coffee and sodas for 15 minutes, they use the 30-minute break to attend morning Tai Chi classes in the area provided. This could be done in conjunction with a weekly one-hour video or live Tai Chi class during lunch or after work.
For the daily Tai Chi breaks, sign-in sheets could be used to document employee participation. This information may be helpful to acquire rebates or subsidies from company health insurance providers to cover the cost of Tai Chi classes. Ask your carrier.
Investing in Creative Potential
If Tai Chi can help employees recover from illnesses and thereby reduce absenteeism that can also mean major savings. But what about creativity? Tai Chi’s meditative quality enables practitioners to become more creative as they let go of being locked into old patterns. A popular corporate expression is to “think outside the box,” which means to look beyond the established way of doing things, to try to find new and innovative approaches. It’s a useful concept, but how do you really think outside the box? You have to release the old ways of doing things. Again, Tai Chi is about letting go of everything, mentally, emotionally, and physically which requires releasing prejudices and preconceptions, making you clearer and more open to new possibilities and potential. If Tai Chi can help employees think outside the box, this will open them up to fresh innovative approaches and may boost profits more than anything you could begin to measure.
Call me today and let's chat about how I can customize a Tai Chi program for your company. It can vary from a one time presentation and training sessions including a Follow Me Tai Chi Video class, or a regularly scheduled class at your facility.
Linda 416 686 2466
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Tai chi chuan literally means “supreme ultimate boxing.” Although it was originally developed as a martial art in China in about 1,200 AD, people everywhere now practice it as a way to improve health, strength, balance, and mental calm. The movements are slow and precise, and particularly focus on the muscles of the lower body. This exercise system has become particularly popular among older adults, because its slow, meditative movements are more accessible to them–even those with some physical limitations.
For older adults with memory impairment, Prof. Chodzko-Zajko counsels that memorizing a long series of highly choreographed forms is only one–and perhaps the least important–aspect of the activity. “The four basic elements of tai chi chuan,” he points out, “are slow movement exercise, breath control, static and dynamic balance, and self-assisted massage.” You can gain benefit from doing repetitions of a single form, so long as it contains these elements.
Like yoga, tai chi chuan has demonstrated some surprising medical benefits. A study at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, (part of NIA’s Frailty and Injuries: Cooperative Studies of Intervention Techniques, or FICSIT, initiative, launched in 1990 to improve physical function in old age) for example, has shown that older adults who practice the system suffer significantly fewer falls than other people in their age group, and many find they’re able to negotiate activities of daily living far more easily.
Despite the slow moving nature of the exercises, practioners also show marked improvement in cardiovascular function. A study at UCLA, soon to be published in the journal Gerontology, suggests this happens through tai chi’s ability to balance the function of the sympathetic nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system that prepares the body for emergencies via the so-called “fight or flight” response.
Another study at UCLA, which appeared in the April 2007 issue of the Journal Of The American Geriatrics Society, demonstrated that tai chi chuan can actually help older adults avoid getting shingles, a painful condition caused by the chicken pox virus (varicella-zoster) both by increasing natural immunity and by boosting immune response to the varicella vaccine.
Finally, a study done by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the New England School of Acupuncture, published in the October 15, 2004, issue of the American Journal of Medicine, did a randomized, controlled trial that demonstrated people with heart failure experienced improved heart function after 12 weeks of tai chi chuan practice.Tai chi chuan, or alternatively, Tàijíquán, literally means “supreme ultimate boxing.” Although it was originally developed as a martial art in China in about 1,200 AD, people everywhere now practice it as a way to improve health, strength, balance, and mental calm. The movements are slow and precise, and particularly focus on the muscles of the lower body. This exercise system has become particularly popular among older adults, because its slow, meditative movements are more accessible to them–even those with some physical limitations.
Qigong means “cultivating breath.” It is a practice in tradtional Chinese medicine that cultivates the coordination of breathing with particular postures and movements to manage the “energy field” that surrounds the body. It is generally practiced to maintain good health, but some traditional Chinese doctors occasionally use it to help cure medical conditions.
According to Prof. Chodzko-Zajko, qigong is among the most common physical activities you will see among older adults in its countries of origin. “If you visit a public park early in the morning in China or Korea and you see people doing morning exercise, very seldom will you see them doing the highly choreographed movement types that we have come to associate with tai chi,” he says. “Oftentimes they’re doing energy work, where they’re doing slow movements, but they’re not necessarily following a prescribed set of forms…I don’t think there is a consensus about how strictly you have to stick to a particular style or a particular form.”
Like yoga and tai chi chuan, quigong may be an effective way of calming heart palpitations–a hyperawareness of your own heartbeat, which may be brought on by overexertion, illness, alcohol, drugs, or a panic disorder.
However these three systems work, experts all agree on one basic fact about them: each can help reduce stress, which is important in maintaining cardiovascular health. Emotional stress causes you to release the hormone adrenaline from your adrenal gland and noradrenaline from the nerve endings in your heart and blood vessels. This, in turn, makes your heart rate go up, and ultimately causes your blood pressure to rise.
Prof. Chodzko-Zajko emphasizes that each of these activities will work best as part of a broader program that includes other types of exercise. “I’d love to see programs that integrate tai chi chuan and qigong type activities into walking programs or chair-based exercise programs,” he says.
Finally, he emphasizes that these physical activities can play a part in an overarching wellness program that should many six aspects of your life into account, including the physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, environmental, social, and financial. “I think there’s been a growing acceptance that in order to promote quality of life, independence, and active aging, you need to acknowledge these multiple dimensions of wellness. And yoga, tai chi chuan, and qigong are activities that span several of these dimensions.”
This article is brought to you by the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). AFAR has been at the forefront of a revolutionary approach to the science of healthier aging. AFAR has played a major role in providing and advancing knowledge of aging and mechanisms of age-related disease by providing start-up grants to more than 2,400 early-career scientists. To learn more about AFAR, click here. We also invite you to visit our web site for the latest information on the biology of aging, common diseases of aging and healthy lifestyles.