Tai Chi Chuan is a kind of soft kung fu. It can facilitate the organic function of heart, lung, intestines and stomach with breathing action combining with all kinds of gentle movements in exercising. At the same time, each movement of Tai Chi Chuan is conducted by mind which makes it be able to regulate the nerve center. It enjoys not only the function of relaxing muscles and bones just as other boxing does but also the function of regulating breathing and mind. So it is very popular among the elderly people. But here are some points to be noticed in exercising:
Firstly, you must do some preparation movements and be warmed up before exercising. Generally speaking, it will be better to do exercise early in the morning after fully discharge yourself. You may have a cup of milk or similar drinks, some pieces of biscuit, but mind not to have enough. Then do some preparatory work as you like such as walking. After that stand still for a moment and even your breathing, clear your mind and get ready to exercise.
Secondly, in exercising use you mind but not strength. Each movement of Tai Chi Chuan is conducted by mind, by doing so, both spiritual and muscles could be trained. For the elderly, it is better to choose a place free from wind and noise so as to maintain a good mind state. It is not advised to talk with other in exercising or the effect will not be guaranteed. According to different physical and health situation of different people, appropriate movements should be selected and up to one's ability. For example, if you are old and weak, when you do actions such as squatting the gesture could be a litter higher. This is important especially for those high blood pressure and cardiac disease patients. When doing actions such as lifting legs, squatting or kicking out, they should bear in mind not to be too powerful. As long as you mention it in your mind, the effect will be good too.
Thirdly, in exercising try hard to do each movement combined with softness, slowness, relaxation and gentleness. For the limitation of physical strength for the elderly, each movement should be done softly, relaxed, naturally and slowly, avoiding such side effects as panic breathing and heart beating. This should be noticed by common beginners, especially for the elderly who is weak or troubled by chronic diseases (it is advised for patients who has emptysis or bleeding to pause exercising).
Fourthly, during the course of practicing, the breathing should be regulated to be deep, even, fine and long. By doing so, you will not only experience the effect of “puff the old and inhale the new” but also promote the circulation of blood and function of viscus. Since this kind of breathing is an abdomen sport combined with the movements, maybe it will be of some difficulty to new beginners. It should be adapted to step by step in training process. One should not be too eager and purposely breathe hard to achieve the so called “set down to the pubic region” or he will get giddy or palpitating and short-winded, which will affect the natural breathing.
In one word, the elderly should moderate their exercising. With months or years of practice and the increasing strengthening of the body, they will gradually be able to control their breathing rhythm freely. Remember not to act with undue haste.