POSITIVELY 50+

New class helps seniors improve their balance

Jan 19, 2023, 1:11 PM

DRAPER, Utah — Every second, an adult 65 and up falls in the United States, making falls the leading cause of injury and death in this age group, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But falls do not have be an inevitable part of aging. The Draper Senior Center is now offering a Tai Chi class to help with balance and arthritis.

“If someone falls, it can alter their life forever. If we can do anything to prevent that, I think its a wonderful thing to offer,” said Linda Solomon, who teaches the Tai Chi class.

The quiet and slow movement of Tai Chi creates a mediative environment and promotes some health benefits.

“If you continue doing it, it strengthens your joints, you become more flexible, and it’s fun,” Solomon said.

One in every four older adults fall each year in the United States, according to the CDC. One out of every five of those falls will cause an injury, which is something Jeff Meskey is hoping to avoid by taking this class.

“As I get older, I have noticed a difference in my balance, and getting sore in some places, so I thought it would be beneficial,” Meskey said.

Paige Corley, health educator at Salt Lake County, said other benefits of Tai Chi are increased body awareness and reduced stress.

“Any time that you can stimulate your brain to learn new things, it’s great for brain health,” Corley said.

People can do Tai Chi sitting or standing, so nearly anyone can benefit from it.

Meskey said he encourages people to give it a try.

“Try it. Life is only so long, and we should all try new things, and to improve yourself. It’s beneficial,” he said.

This class is offered at several senior centers across Salt Lake County. To see if a class is offered near you, click here.

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New class helps seniors improve their balance