Tag Archives: aging

Keeping Young With Tai Chi

Author: ChandaTai Chi 3

In our youth-oriented society, we are constantly bombarded with information on how to stay young.  From skin care products that claim to reverse the signs of aging to books that claim to help you eat to stay young, we are a people in search of the fountain of youth.  One solution that truly may be a way of keeping young is Tai Chi.  Tai chi is an ancient form of exercise developed about 2,000 years ago in China which is a combination of both meditation and a series of slow and deliberate movements.  You may have seen Tai Chi performed by older adults in your local park, on TV, or perhaps by someone who attends Tai Chi classes.

The benefits derived from Tai Chi have been well known and documented.  It not only relieves stress, but enhances one’s balance and flexibility as well.  In addition, the movements in Tai Chi are some of the best exercise to help alleviate health problems in older adults.  While anyone can master the art of Tai Chi, this form of exercise is popular with older adults.  Because it is low impact, Tai Chi does not cause major strains on the body or joints and is particularly effective for those who suffer from any form of arthritis.

Recent studies have shown that Tai Chi, when practiced by older adults, offered calm and balance, dissipated anxiety and depression, helped older adults to sleep better, reduced bone loss in menopausal women, decreased blood pressure, helped in alleviating pain, and prepared them for tasks performed on a daily basis.  All these benefits help the body to better combat the stresses of aging.

Considered to be a great form of exercise, Tai Chi requires no equipment, no time table, is very easy to do, has no side effects, and gives older adults the opportunity to meet others who love the exercise as well.  Once you learn Tai Chi and the proper way to move, there is virtually no chance of injury.

Whether you practice Tai Chi in your home by following exercises on DVDs, or whether you go to your local park and practice Tai Chi there, once you begin this form of exercise, you will most likely continue for the rest of your life.  Further, you may also want to incorporate a similar form of exercise known as Qi Gong.  Based on the same principle of slow movements, Qi Gong, while new to this country, has been around as long as Tai Chi and provides the same benefits as Tai Chi.

Often considered to be a form of meditation, Tai Chi also provides the benefits one receives through meditation.  Meditation has long been studied and affirmed to be one of the best forms of relaxation as well as a great stress reducer.  Reducing stress should be the number one goal for anyone who wishes to keep young.  Adding this with exercise and you have an unbeatable combination.  More importantly, not only will you develop a new exercise routine, but you will begin to feel good about it, your health, and your overall well-being.

So we may not have discovered the Fountain of Youth, but performing Tai Chi will definitely help you and your body be fit and healthy so that you may enjoy a long, healthy, and balanced life.

FINE PRINT

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Think You Look Like Your Mom?

Author: Cynthia Rowlandbulldoggy-main_Full

Maybe when you look in the mirror you see a resemblance of your Mom looking back at you.  You probably see more than just sagging or fullness under your eyes; you most likely see jowls, pouches, a downturned mouth, spongy skin, the dreaded wattle, sagging cheeks and more in the mirror.

These conditions – sagging facial features – make us look old and tired.

It is not unusual that a family resemblance is apparent because when aging strikes our faces we definitely have a tendency to remark that this must be hereditary because our Moms or even our Great Aunt Hilda wore the same look when they were a certain age.

Aging in our faces is sneaky; it seems that wrinkles, sags and bags can appear almost overnight.  It is true.  It is not uncommon for a wrinkle to seemingly appear out of thin air.

Seeing a new wrinkle upon arising may be a result of improper sleeping.  These wrinkles that look so cute on a four year old when they awaken from a nap are surely disastrous when they are on the face of a forty year old.  The realization that you have created this hideous crinkle may have you feeling hopeless and ready to succumb to the surgeon’s knife.

Do not despair as there are natural remedies for aging that will not require recuperation or spending your children’s inheritance.

Sleeping on a flat, mushy pillow can wreak havoc on your face, especially if you have a tendency to sleep mostly on your side.  Same goes for those of you who sleep on your stomach.  If you want to enjoy a wrinkle free face without under eye bags and sags, you might want to elevate the head of your bed by placing one inch thick books under the legs of your headboard while sleeping on a large, thick buckwheat pillow.

Bags and puffiness under your eyes can also indicate that you are using too much salt in your diet.  Sodium seems to be hidden in many pre-packaged foods so if you awaken in the morning seeing puffiness you may have consumed salt laden goodies or eaten Chinese food or enjoyed certain vegetable beverages that are well known for their high sodium content.

Drinking water seems to have a positive effect on your face and especially your brain.  Drinking purified water is a real boon to better health.  According to the Mayo Clinic, water is a vital component to flush toxins, carry nutrients to our organs and provide needed energy to enjoy life.  If you are short on water, your brain may act sluggish due to dehydration, you may feel dizzy and experience chills and even vomiting.

Exercise is another positive step that keeps you looking younger.  The choices are wide and varied:  walking, bicycling, Pilates, karate, Kung Fu, tennis, softball, volleyball, surfing, jogging, kick boxing, Jazzercise, weight training.  According to Jackie Silver, author of ‘Aging Backwards’, “Exercise is the fountain of youth!”  It is likely you agree.

Our bodies appreciate the rush of endorphins when we complete a strenuous workout.  The sense of completion and satisfaction usually shows up on our faces as a beaming, broad smile.  We feel euphoric…vital…young…until we look in the mirror and wish that our faces looked as young as we felt right now.

Alas, your face needs exercise just like your body does.  Without it, the once vibrant muscles, the youthful, unlined facial skin is unavailable to you.

Even when you are meticulous and extremely careful about your face, including using the finest skin care, it is inevitable that your face will appear tired and elongated as your skin loses its firmness and its youthful contour.  Exercise from the neck down isn’t enough to sustain or maintain a youthful face.

A pro-active approach to a younger face is not about having surgery or injections; rather, a younger face is possible when you use facial exercise to stop the sagging and to maintain the uniqueness of your face.

Just as exercise changes the shape and contour of the body, specialized facial exercises, using your thumbs and fingers, will gently begin to soften stressed faces while lifting and toning the hidden muscles that support the skin.  If the facial muscles are not exercised, the skin is continuously dragged downward by the elongation of the muscles.

This downward slide is what makes faces look old and that is when you see the resemblance of your mother, your aunts and others who are older than you.

If you are serious about learning the secret to a youthful face, begin a facial exercise program in earnest to lift, tone and tighten those sagging facial muscles.