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Free tai chi for seniors starts March 4

Posted: February 23, 2014 - 1:03am
Tai Chi students are, top row, from left to right: Nancy Barr, Sandy Noland, Larry Hughes, Fred Fisher and, bottom row from left to right: Peggy Exendine, Judy Powers, Michael Stark, M'Iva Ricky, Carmela Ransom and instructor Glen Ray.   Courtesy Glen Ray
Courtesy Glen Ray
Tai Chi students are, top row, from left to right: Nancy Barr, Sandy Noland, Larry Hughes, Fred Fisher and, bottom row from left to right: Peggy Exendine, Judy Powers, Michael Stark, M'Iva Ricky, Carmela Ransom and instructor Glen Ray.

Thanks to a grant from the State of Alaska Senior and Disabilities Services, Southeast Senior Services is once again able to offer free tai chi classes for people who are age 60 or over. The new series will begin on Tuesday, March 4 at 10 a.m. at the Nugget Mall Community Room and will be offered each Tuesday and Thursday for 10 weeks.

Reducing injuries from Falls for people over 60 years of age is an important part of maintaining health and vitality. Adequate nutrition, environmental safety, regular physical check-ups, social interaction and exercise are all important in the prevention of injuries from falls.

Research compiled by the Centers for Disease Control demonstrate that tai chi exercises can be especially important to helping seniors reduce injuries from falls. Tai chi exercises encourage seniors to pay attention to postural alignment, balanced standing and walking, shifting weight mindfully and coordinating breath with movement.

Regular practice, as reported both from controlled studies and in comments by past participants, increases a sense of wellness, promotes greater flexibility, improves range of motion, balance and coordination. Tai chi movements in a falls prevention class are slow and relaxed, which is both muscle strengthening and friendlier to knees, hips, and shoulders.

Interested persons should contact Carol Comolli, Juneau Senior Center Manager, at 463-6175 or carol.comolli@ccsjuneau.org to register. Class size is limited and this has been a very popular class, so prompt registration is encouraged. Participants will be allowed into the class in the order they register.

• Marianne Mills, M.S.W., is the Program Director of Southeast Senior Services (SESS) which offers a variety of home and community-based services for older Alaskans throughout Southeast Alaska. SESS is a program division of Catholic Community Service which assists all persons regardless of their faith.

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