Tai Chi fall prevention offered for older adults

ADDISON COUNTY — September is Falls Prevention and Awareness Month in Vermont. Age Well with Tai Chi Vermont is offering many opportunities for older adults and others to participate in Fall Prevention programs with Tai Chi classes around Addison County.

Falls are not a normal part of aging and they are preventable. Awareness of the tools available is one of the first steps to learning how to be safe when navigating through daily household, social, work and shopping activities. Confidence gained through gently strengthening muscles for safe stepping and maintaining balance are a few of the more important tools that help reduce risks, which gradually lead to more mobility and in turn better overall health.

Tai Chi is one of the programs that research has demonstrated can help reduce the risk of falls while giving the opportunity of better overall health.

Those interested in learning the practice should be sure to talk to their primary care physician about any concerns before participating in any new physical activity. Keep in mind that slow and steady will accomplish goals more quickly and effectively.

The Falls Prevention Tai Chi Program is among the top-tiered evidence-based programs recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Injury Prevention. Tai Chi can reduce the incidence of falls by 55 percent and recurrent falls by 70 percent. This form of Tai Chi is more upright, making it safer for older adults and individuals with balance issues. It can be done standing or seated. Tai Chi combines deep breathing and slow, continuous movements that help a person be present and mindful. It is a great break from busy lifestyles or to get moving that can be practiced by almost anyone almost anywhere.

Instructors for classes listed below are certified through Tai Chi Vermont. For more information go to taichivermont.com. Classes are sponsored by Age Well (previously CVAA) and can be contacted at agewellvt.org or their Helpline: 800-642-5119.

Fall Prevention Tai Chi and Advanced Tai Chi classes are offered in several Addison County towns.

In Bristol, the Bristol Recreation Department has several classes held at Holley Hall: a Beginner class offered Mondays from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. starting Oct. 7; ongoing Advanced class Mondays from 11 a.m. to noon; and Long Form Sun Style Advanced class from 10 to 11 a.m. and Yang Style 24 Form Advanced from 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays, both beginning Oct. 2.

In Middlebury, a Beginners class starts Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Congregational Church of Middlebury. A Beginning/Intermediate Long Form Sun Style 73 class begins Monday, Oct. 14, from 4 to 5:30pm, also at the Congregational Church. There are four ongoing classes of Fall Prevention Tai Chi and Qigong, Tuesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. and Fridays  from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. at the Eastview Community Room, Wednesdays from 11 a.m.-noon at Middlebury Fitness; and Mondays and Thursdays at the Middlebury Rec Center from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

In South Starksboro, there is a Sun Style Long Form 73 group that meets at the Jerusalem Schoolhouse on Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Vergennes has Fall Prevention Beginning classes at St Peter’s Parish Hall from Sept. 17 to Dec. 12 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30  to 10:30 a.m. and Intermediate classes from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. Bixby Memorial Library hosts Sun Style Fall Prevention Tai Chi In Depth class on Wednesdays, Sept. 18 to Dec. 11 from 9:15 to 10:10 a.m. and a Long Form 73 Tai Chi class from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m.

For more information visit the Addison Independent Website and go to Calendar/Ongoing Events/ Health and Wellness/Tai Chi for contact information on above classes or call 800-642-5119.

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100