It’s safe to say that people are more health conscious than ever before. Seemingly every day, medical research reveals additional evidence confirming the critical roles that diet, lifestyle and exercise play in maintaining our mental and physical well-being.
Significantly, health experts constantly reinforce that physical activity need not be strenuous—or inordinately lengthy in duration—to be beneficial. The key is to adopt an exercise regimen that is within your range of capability and participate in it on a consistent basis. (As always, your safety is the number one priority, so you should consult your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise regimen.)
At Southgate, we emphasize fitness in both mind and body. (Remember: Even activities that have few physical requirements can do wonders in helping enhance your concentration and cognitive abilities.) That’s why we offer a wide range of activities—from more strenuous (e.g., bowling and swimming) to less strenuous (e.g., card playing, woodworking and arts & crafts), with low-impact activities like Tai Chi, yoga and Pilates falling somewhere in the middle.
In our on-site health club and spa, we offer periodic sessions for all three of these low-impact activities. In fact, each resident can get a customized exercise plan developed specifically for them to accommodate their current fitness level and goals.
Since there is generally less familiarity with these types of activities, this blog provides a brief overview of each one.
Tai Chi – Originating in 12th-Century China, Tai Chi is a discipline devoted to achieving unity and harmony between mind and body. Tai Chi is highly influenced by Taoist and Buddhist traditions and recognizes maintenance of one’s health as a basic tenet (further defined as comprising the three modules of health, meditation and martial arts).
Principally involving the practice of slow movements, Tai Chi helps improve a person’s ability to balance under a variety of conditions, while simultaneously helping enhance their stability.
Pilates – Named after an early 20th-Century German physical-culturist, Pilates is a combination of exercises that promote flexibility, muscle strength, fat loss and endurance. Specifically, Pilates tends to focus on spinal and pelvic alignment, development of core strength and improvement of physical coordination and balance.
Yoga – With its roots in Northern India dating back 5,000 years, yoga is a mind and body practice that combines physical postures, stretching exercises, breathing techniques and meditation. Yoga can improve flexibility, muscle strength and range of motion. Yoga styles vary from slow and gentle to athletic and vigorous.
Many people find it easy to engage in low-impact activities, since they do not put stress on the body’s joints. In general, the benefits of Tai Chi, Pilates and yoga often include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved balance and flexibility
- Improved sleep
- Reduced anxiety and stress levels
- Reduced back pain
Here at Southgate, we encourage exploring, growing and learning as the means to expand your horizons—and thereby enrich your day-to-day life. So who knows? You just may discover that one (or all!) of these low-impact activities works for you like no other you’ve tried!