Arthritis can really inhibit your life and take quality away from your days. What was once the simplest of tasks now seem on some days to be entirely too grueling to complete. Little daily chores such as wiping down the kitchen counters or washing the dishes can cause such pain in those who suffer from arthritis. Along with the limited mobility that can go hand in hand with arthritic patient, comes depression from not having the ability to maintain routines that keep these sufferers active in some way. Sleep disturbances can occur because of the pain which only worsens from lack of movement. The stiffness that can occur worsens and when the winter months come along, there is no relief in sight.
Studies are now showing that relief can now be found long term if a regular exercise program is incorporated. In colder months it is so crucial to have a method of relieving those aching pains. Although swimming is a great exercise for arthritis sufferers, the cold months are not so conducive to that exercise method. Practicing the Art of Tai Chi has shown great results for most all types of arthritis pain. The fluid movement makes it easy for seniors to master this activity without risk of injury.
Warm ups are a good way to loosen up in a light way before beginning any type of movement or exercises. It is a good idea to perform warm ups to avoid any small possibility of injury with any program whether light or heavy.
Here are a few simple Tai Chi Movements or Exercises that will help ease the pain during those cold winter months.
1. White Crane Spreads Wings is a simple and slow movement with arms at shoulder width apart and up just below the breast line. Turning you body slowly at a 45ᵒ angle to the right and then back to the left while using your mind to relax your body and feel the movement.
2. Grasp Bird’s Tailis a movement in which you are standing in a similar position to White Crane Spreads Wings but you will lift your toes a little and reach out very slowly and pull your arms in as if you are grasping the tail of a bird.
3. The Single Whipis a posture that helps with movement by holding your arms similar to the Grasp Bird’s Tail position while 70% of your weight is on your left leg as you stand and 30% is on your right while you are turning your body to the right slowly while changing the distribution of your weight to the opposite leg.
4. The Brush Knee Twist Step will strengthen your leg muscles. You stand at the same stance as above Single Whip position and sweep your left leg forward and then to the left slowly then sweep your left arm along your left thigh and upwards very slowly. There is no extension beyond what is natural and fluid movement.
5. The Apparent Close Up is a great posture. You stand with your legs at shoulder length apart with your right foot 45ᵒ in front of your left. Arms should be straight out and crossed slightly at the wrist. While stepping your left foot forward, you arms should move slowly forward and while extending arms straight out palms of your hands should end face straight out away from your body.
All of the Tai Chi movements require a quieting of the mind and a very slow movement. Practicing for 15 minutes day can greatly reduce pain from arthritis and the movement is very slow and limited so the risk of injury is very low.