- Many gyms and community centers offer yoga or tai chi classes.
- There are various websites, books, and videos that can help you practice both activities during a quiet time in your own home or even outdoors.
- Dress comfortably and wear clothing that allows you to move your body fully (i.e., stretchy shorts or pants, t-shirts, tank tops, etc.).
- It’s important to make sure your muscles are warmed up before you begin your routine. Never force your body into a posture or try to go beyond your limits—this could lead to straining or injuring your muscles.
Yoga is a great activity that needs little or no equipment while also soothing your mind and increasing your flexibility. There are various styles of yoga that combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Although yoga includes physical exercise it can also be a lifestyle practice that has many health benefits.
- Yoga can improve strength, balance, and flexibility.27
- Yoga can help people manage stress, anxiety, or depressive symptoms.27
- Yoga can help ease pain and improve mobility in people with lower back pain and arthritis.27,28
- Yoga can help you get to a healthy weight if you are overweight.29
- Bedtime yoga routines can help settle your mind and prepare your body to fall asleep and stay asleep.29
Tai chi is a practice that involves a series of slow gentle movements and physical postures, a meditative state of mind, and controlled breathing.30 The main difference between tai chi and yoga is tai chi is performed in a dance-like, martial arts form. People enjoy taking tai chi classes for social opportunity and later discover the many health benefits it has.
- Tai chi can help prevent falls especially as you age.30
- It can help people with chronic diseases and reduce pain in those with arthritis.31
- Tai chi improves strength, flexibility, balance, and aerobic conditioning.31,32
- It has been proven to improve cardiovascular fitness and lower blood pressure.31
- Tai chi can reduce stress, improve your mood, and lead to better sleep.33
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (in collaboration with Stony Brook Medicine) offers virtual tai chi classes through Zoom. For more information about schedules and how-to sign-up visit: https://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Health-Services/Preventive-Medicine/Health-Education/Tai-Chi