Tai Chi Improves Balance & Strength

Tai Chi (pronounced ti chee) can make you strong and improve your balance.  How?  And what is Tai Chi anyway?

Tai Chi is a movement program which is done standing up.  It uses all of the muscles in your lower body and legs (your leg muscles attach to your spine.)  The movements are slow and continuous.  You lean and sway and balance in a variety of positions.

All of this leaning and swaying causes you to use more of your muscles than you usually do.  When you were a small child, you used all of your muscles.  But, then you grew up.  And, now?  Most of us use only the same 60 or so (out of 600!) muscles everyday.  Only 10%.  Not so good.

But, Tai Chi causes you to use most of those lower body muscles again.

During the movement, your arms and upper body are also involved.  While your legs are doing one thing, your arms do another as part of the whole movement.  Your whole body becomes involved.  That creates whole body balance and strength.

Tai Chi is different from yoga.  Yoga does a lot of stretching and full range-of-movement and also uses floor and seated positions besides standing.  Yoga involves more of your body.

Tai Chi builds lower body strength as well as balance.  That’s why it’s so beneficial for older folks and those who have lost strength or are wobbly on their feet.

My only wish is that people would start practicing Tai Chi before they need it.  That would prevent a lot of “old age” complaints.  Old age complaints tend to be caused by poor or collapsing posture.

Yoga, and the movements here at Simple Strengthening, will help you correct your posture.  Tai Chi will help you keep or regain your balance and lower body strength.  That will help you prevent injuries from falling, make it easier to get up from chairs, and stay younger longer.


Legs Feeling Weak Or Achey? How Balancing Can Help Your Legs Get Stronger

If your legs feel weak, or achey, here’s a solution for you.

We were built for movement and when we don’t move enough – when we spend too much time in a chair or car – our leg muscles get out of balance and lose strength.  Balance and strength occur when we use our legs. When we use our legs, and they are strong, we feel stable instead of weak.

When your legs are out of balance – some muscles are weaker than others – then you get aches and pains in your legs.  When your muscles are out of balance, they pull on the bones in a different way than they are supposed to.  This causes arthritis.

Some savvy doctors recommend that their older patients take tai chi classes.  Tai chi (pronounced ti-chee) is done standing, and the people who practice it develop strong legs and good balance.

Here’s a simple strengthening movement that you can do at home or anywhere.

Stand near a piece of furniture, like the back of a chair.  Stand close enough so that you can use the chair back as a support for one hand, if you need it.  (And you will probably need it until your balance improves.)

Lift one foot off the ground, and tuck it behind your other calf.

Let go of the chair and try to balance on the foot that is still on the floor.

Keep your hand very close to the chair back in case you need to support yourself.

While you are balancing on one foot, you are using all of the muscles in that foot and leg.  You will notice that the pressure in your foot moves from Continue reading “Legs Feeling Weak Or Achey? How Balancing Can Help Your Legs Get Stronger”