September is the start of Falls Prevention and Awareness season. Kaiser Permanente physician, Robert A. Johnson, MD, practices centuries-old Chinese tai chi and qigong exercises frequently to stay active and healthy. He explains how a few basic exercises can help seniors and Baby Boomers maintain their strength and balance, which can help reduce their risk of falling.
According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, an estimated 2.3 million U.S. adults had practiced tai chi in the past 12 months.
[Reference: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/taichi/introduction.htm?nav=gsa ]
Along with doing exercises that promote flexibility, seniors also can help prevent falls and serious injuries by taking a few simple precautions at home.
Kaiser Permanente offers tai chi and qigong classes at several of its medical facilities. Visit kp.org to find classes in your area and learn more about preventing falls and other exercises for strength and balance. Also check out kp.org/carestories for more health-related videos. For questions and advice about a specific condition or starting a new exercise regimen, consult with your physician.