0 Kim Kubsch doing Tai Chi on a glacier near Mt McKinley in AlaskaThe first day of fall this year is September 22 – a timely date to increase awareness of fall prevention. In addition, Active Aging Week will be celebrated from September 22-28.

What activities do you do each day to remain active without injury and reduce your risk of falls? Better yet, what do you do to prevent falls? What is the quality of your daily exercise and nutrition? Do you experience hearing loss, vision challenges or medication interactions? So many of these factors affect balance, plus blood pressure, coordination, reaction time, inner ear function, pain, endurance, fatigue and the fear of falling.

According to Prevention Magazine, June 2013, “scientific thinking suggest that up to 70% of aging is related to how you live. Perhaps as little as 30% is genetically determined.“

A common challenge of aging is the reduced ability to balance. Medical professionals including Dr. Oz often prescribe the exercise of Tai Chi to enhance balance. This martial art movement form  is a safe and gentle series of movements ideal for older adults. Tai Chi is nourishing for seasoned and often physically-challenged bodies.

By building strength in key muscle groups, tai chi improves balance and coordination, two skills that sometimes fall by the wayside in seniors but can be hugely helpful in preventing falls. This moving meditation emphasizes balance, slow shifting of weight, coordination and posture. Tai Chi is an effective form to learn how to be smart about how you use your body so it will be useful for your entire life.

When was the last time you tested your balance? The norm for the age group of 60-69 is 10 seconds standing on one leg with both eyes closed. For those 70-79, the norm is four seconds and most people 80 and older cannot do this type of balance test.

We welcome you to improve your balance while relaxing your mind and body with Tai Chi classes by Kim Kubsch. Held throughout the Sun Lakes area Monday – Friday on a wide variety of times and venues, Tai Chi is for all ages and abilities. Ideal for those with chronic diseases and physical challenges, all movements can be modified for comfort and safety. For Kim’s Tai Chi group class schedule, specialty workshops or video/dvd titles, contact Kim Kubsch at 480 392 3436, Kim@SafeMovements.com or www.SafeMovements.com

Global statistics reflect that once an older adult falls, they are likely to fall again within six months. Injuries from falls by older adults often require lengthy recovery and rehabilitation time and can lead to other health challenges. Preventing falls is considerably less expensive and painful than reacting to falls. Please accept my invitation to celebrate everyday as active aging and fall prevention day!