Benefits of Tai Chi Classes
- Muscle strength: Tai chi exercises can improve both lower-body strength and upper-body strength. When practiced regularly, tai chi can be comparable to resistance training and brisk walking. Although you aren’t working with weights or resistance bands, the unsupported arm exercise involved in tai chi strengthens your upper body. Tai chi strengthens both the lower and upper extremities and also the core muscles of the back and abdomen.
- Flexibility: Among tai chi benefits is the potential to boost upper- and lower-body flexibility as well as strength.
- Balance: Tai chi improves balance, and according to some studies, reduces falls. Proprioception — the ability to sense the position of one’s body in space — declines with age. Tai chi helps train this sense. Fear of falling can make you more likely to fall; some studies have found that tai chi training helps reduce that fear.
- Aerobic conditioning: Depending on the speed and size of the movements, tai chi can provide some aerobic benefits.
Although tai chi exercise is slow and gentle and doesn’t leave you breathless, it addresses the key components of fitness — muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and to some degree, aerobic conditioning.
Tai Chi Is Best Suited for …
It’s a safe and effective form of physical fitness for beginners. The slow, low-impact movements are safe and gentle on your body, and they help increase flexibility and posture.
Tai chi is one of the more popular methods of movement for seniors because it eases arthritis pain and has been found to improve cognition. It also reduces the risk and fear of falling by improving balance and motor function.
About the Instructor
A Tai Chi for Health Institute Certified Instructor, Tracy Brunner has taught classes at the JCC since 2009. She is passionate about helping students improve their balance, stamina, breathing, flexibility, and posture while having fun with this ancient practice of meditation in motion. Although tai chi is a martial arts form, Tracy is certified to teach it as a slow and gentle exercise targeted toward improving individual health and well being.
Fitness Is a Core Jewish Value
At the JCC, fitness isn’t just something we do; it’s who we are. Although exercise is not mentioned in the Torah, taking care of one’s health is. In fact, while other belief systems advocate for the healing power of prayer, Judaism encourages people to look after their health and seek counsel from medical experts. In Judaism, good health is not a goal in itself. Rather, it is a means to an end – to serve the Creator.