Keeping fit with Tai Chi

Carol Emerson

“Wow, you really have strong legs!” the nurse said as she helped me stand to go on one of our daily walks around the hospital floor. It was something I heard over and over during those days I spent in the hospital this spring. The nurses sounded a bit incredulous that a woman “of a certain age” should have such impressive lower body strength.

I was not surprised. I practice Tai chi and have for decades. If there is one thing you can count on tai chi to give you, it is strong legs. As we get older and less active, we tend to lose that lower body strength we took for granted in the past. This leaves us vulnerable to diminished balance, even falls. There are many other benefits to a tai chi practice.

This ancient Chinese art strengthens the whole body, the mind and the emotions. Comprised of gentle, flowing circular movements, tai chi challenges the body to move in new ways while keeping the knees slightly bent. In addition, the mind has to learn (and remember!) the sequence, which can range from seventeen to one hundred eight postures. Emotionally, we benefit from learning new things and from having our mental focus on the exercise rather than, say, the news. tai chi can be very relaxing also!

Why not give tai chi a try? Each class is $10. Classes are held at the SaddleBrooke One fitness center.

Beginning class: Tuesday 9:05–10:05 a.m.

Advanced class: Saturdays 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Intermediate class: Saturdays 12:30–1:30 p.m.

FYI: in memory of our beloved Izzy-Cat, each year we donate a portion of the income from these classes to charities that benefit cats. If you have a favorite cat charity, please let us know.

Your instructors Ken and Carol Emerson have been students of martial arts for over thirty years. Both are black belts, certified by the Ching Yi Kung Fu Association – an international organization dedicated to the practice of Kung Fu for health and peace of mind.

For more information, or to register, call Ken 520-784-1475 or Carol 520-373-3778.