Consume a healthy diet consisting of plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and get regular exercise several times a week. The Miami Beach Parks and Recreation department is helping seniors focus on fitness. It may sound simple but following those instructions and including the physical exercise of Tai Chi, into the daily exercise routine could be, say doctors, the key to helping senior citizens stave off the effects of memory loss and other physical declines associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Miami Beach Parks and Recreation department offers an array of programs to senior citizens including bingo, chair aerobics, bowling and dance. Tai Chi is also part of the mix. There are currently over 600 Miami Beach seniors registered for the weekly Tai Chi class.
Tai Chi is a type of martial art utilizing slow, fluid movements. It does not put too much stress on the muscles and joints therefore it is often considered a safe form of exercise for seniors.
“We have been providing Tai Chi for years,” explains Andrew Plotkin, Facility Manager of North Shore Park. “We do recognize its great positive health impact and popularity in the community and continue to find ways to offer the class.”
Dr. Ranjan Duara, a neurologist and the Medical Director of the Mount Sinai Wien Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Memory Disorders says daily exercise, at least three times a week for thirty to forty minutes a day can help boost one’s immune system and strength; both of which can mitigate the effects of memory loss which can come from aging or Alzheimer’s disease.
“Clinical trials involving Tai Chi have shown that it seems to delay the onset of the disease,” says Dr. Duara.
“My advice would be to sign up for a class,” says Plotkin. “We provide excellent service and all of our teachers truly care about their students. You will not be disappointed.”