Baby Boomers and Dementia- What you Need to Know

June 2, 2017

Baby boomers are enjoying a fulfilling, varied and active lifestyle - and are keen to maintain their health to continue it.

The ancient Chinese art of tai chi is proving successful in contributing to improving health and well-being, especially for those aged 60+.

The benefits of tai chi are many and far-reaching, including the promotion of healthy brain cells to aid in the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The causes of these conditions are still relatively unknown, apart from genetics and the aging process.

Tai chi is a set of movements that are performed slowly and smoothly. The set of movements is called a “form” and there are many different forms. 

Tai chi forms are simply a collection of controlled and precise movements, linked together to develop a sequence. A form can have as few as four movements, while an experienced practitioner may undertake a form compromised of over 100 movements.

Each of the tai chi movements is an exercise in balance, co-ordination, physical control and the regulation of breathing. The practice of these movements involves using both left and right sides of the brain, together with body co-ordination.  

Mental awareness is necessary to perform the sequences and it’s the synchronicity of mind and body, of learning combined with physical activity, leading to improved supplies of both blood and nutrients to the brain that is thought to be key in maintaining and improving brain, as well as physical, health.

Physically, the forms increase strength and make the body suppler. Blood circulation is improved and the flow of “chi” or energy around the body boosts the immune system.

Tai chi also increases strength and stamina, while the gentle nature of the exercise promotes natural deep breathing, inducing calm and delivering oxygen more efficiently to the brain, thought to be another factor in promoting healthy brain cells and delaying their degeneration.

Credit: Article by Barbara Hopkins. Read more of the article here: http://www.seniorlivingmag.com/articles/baby-boomers-defy-dementia

Baby boomers - it's time for you to learn more about Piedmont Crossing. Visit our website at www.piedmontcrossing.org or call 336-474-3605.