Early every Friday morning, you will find a small group of dedicated TriCare Willow Glen residents quietly and calmly performing the fine martial art, Tai Chi.
Originating from China, Tai Chi is known as one of the most effective exercises for health and wellbeing.
Instructor and Master Trainer in Tai Chi for Arthritis, Rosalie Rudduck, has been teaching at TriCare Willow Glen for nearly seven years.
“We need to keep active as we get older and exercise at a level that is complementary to our stage in life.
“The program I teach, Tai Chi for Arthritis, has a strong emphasis on safety and prevention of injuries. Practising within our comfort levels, rather than pushing through pain, is an important aspect of the Tai Chi for Health philosophy.
Participants are encouraged to modify movements and exercise at their own pace,” said Mrs Rudduck.
Medical studies have shown that the Tai Chi for Arthritis program relieves arthritic pain, and improves quality of life, as well as preventing falls in older adults.
According to the Tai Chi for Health Institute, increased muscular strength supports and protects joints, which will reduce pain, along with flexibility exercises to improve mobility. The particular program Mrs Rudduck teaches at TriCare Willow Glen does this and more.
“Tai Chi for Arthritis improves balance both mentally and physically, thus significantly reducing the rate of falls in adults. Additional benefits include improving relaxation, vitality, posture and immunity,” says Mrs Rudduck.
As well as the physical benefits, the social aspects of participating in a Tai Chi class are just as valid.
“At the beginning of a new class, participants are often shy and self conscious, however after a couple of classes the group members all gel and the social outcome is magical,” said Mrs Rudduck.