Health Benefits, Balance and Fall Prevention from Tai Chi: A Coaching Guide
Date of Award
Master of Science in Exercise Science
Balance impairment is prevalent among the aging population. Mind-body exercises such as Tai chi, are effective in improving balance and preventing falls. The continuous fluid movements that shift weight increase muscle strength and flexibility result in improved postural control. Tai chi is a martial art that emphasizes health and well-being by having a foundation stemming from Taoism. Tai chi has a long and rich history that has helped refine the postures to what is practiced today. Research from 1993 to 2014 examined and confirmed the health benefits of Tai chi. Current research has focused on the mechanisms of action by which Tai chi improves balance, cognitive function, and mood among other factors. The Tai chi Yang 24 short form has proven to improve balance, well-being, and prevent falls. Illustrations, coaching instructions, and practice parameters are provided to ensure optimal practice. This coaching guide will educate the reader in the martial art of Tai chi for health, improved balance, and fall prevention.