Balance Tai Ji Quan: Why do I teach it?  What’s in it for me?

In June of 2015, I literally fell into the Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance ( training.  I am a senior fitness instructor and the classes were being held at my workplace.  After reading a bit more about it, I was intrigued for a number of reasons.

  • As a public health Physician, I am aware of the fact that a fall in an elder person significantly alters their mobility, quality of life and perhaps even leads to an earlier death.  For the past 15 years I have been giving community talks about fall prevention, focusing on awareness.  I wanted to actively do something about preventing falls.
  • As a part-time caregiver to my 88 yo mother and 90 yo mother-in-law, I witness the decline in their health because of mobility issues.  When they have osteoporosis, are already dependent on using a walker, have lost muscle mass and are weak – it may be too late to get them into an exercise program safely.
  • As I am myself aging, I look around me and I want to stay physically active and mobile.  I consider health issues that may affect me in the future and I recognize that some are a natural part of aging.  But falls are preventable!  I do not have to fall or be fearful of falling.

Since September 2015, I have taught almost 300 classes to over 60 folks (age range 55-94) in my community and the participants tell me that they are benefitting from it.  The most important benefit they see is that they are “not afraid of falling, and walk more confidently.”  Or they have prevented falls by using some of the techniques they have learned in class. 

Many enjoy the camaraderie among the participants and take the session a second time. For folks who attended the full 6 month session, there are definite objective measures of improvement in their ability to “get up and go” and balance.  Some have actually improved their balance enough that they now join my Zumba Gold® fitness classes or joined regular Tai Ji classes.

If you live in the Thurston County community, feel free to contact me about the next series of classes.  Current classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Olympia Senior Center (2-3 PM) and Lacey senior Center (4-5 PM).  Stay healthy.  Stay Active.  Think Positive and Be happy!!

Diana  T. Yu
Twitter: @Yu4health
Facebook: Active Lifestyle with Yu