April 20, 2008

Pilates and Tai Chai, better than Yoga?

It is proven and well-known that Yoga dramatically reduces falls, the major leading cause of injuries in older adults. However, a new study suggests that fellow disciplines as Pilates and Tai Chi may be better stability and balance enhancers.

It was demonstrated in the study of Temple University's School of Podiatric Medicine that Iyengar yoga is the particular the kind of Yoga, involving the use of ropes, cushions and belts, helps improve the balance, motion and flexibility in legs and feet of people above 65 years old.

After 9 weeks of training with yoga, participants seemed to distribute their weight more evenly throughout the foot, which improves stability and prevents falls.

However, this improvement is not enough to reduce the risk of falls among high-risk individuals as elderly people. Event though yoga focuses on static poses that can be beneficial while standing still, Tai Chi and Pilates result to be more effective at improving motor control and coordination for walking, when actually most falls take place.

In addition, Pilates and Tai Chi focus on precise body movements and strengthening the hip and leg joints, and the abdominal and back muscles. About these, two key facts:

For people over 70, Tai Chi eliminates the risk of falling in half after 15 weeks of practice.

With Pilates, if you loose your balance while walking, you'll be better able to make rapid adjustments in your gait.

Finally, it is highly advised you consult to you physician before engaging into Tai Chi or Pilates for approval, especially if you suffer from lower back problem and disabilities.

Source: Health U.S. News

1 Comment:

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