A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Feb. 9th, 2012, concluded that tai chi reduced balance impairments in those with mild to moderate severity Parkinson’s disease, with additional improvement in functional capacity and reduced falls. They compared a group who did stretching as the intervention, and another group that did resistance training, to those that performed tai chi exercises over a 24-week period, having exercised twice weekly. The tai chi group had 67% fewer falls than the stretching group, but not a significant difference from the resistance training group. However, the tai chi group also had measurable improvement in other measurements of function, such as directional control.
I can recall how my balance improved remarkably while doing tai chi, and as I notice the declining changes in my balance since I’ve stopped, I think it’s a good time to start up again. Remember: “Behaviors in mid-life are excellent predictors of success in late-life. “