Whether it’s for self defense, health reasons or even reducing injury risk from falls, martial arts can help senior citizens in several ways.
Martial arts, commonly used to teach self defense, has grown over the years and is now used for much more than that. Certain techniques can actually help with problems caused by aging, such as osteoporosis.
While some forms of martial arts can help with fall prevention, the practice is also a great low-impact exercise to increase flexibility and balance, two things that are widely known to decrease with age.
About 650,000 people over the age of 60 are treated at hospitals for fall-related injuries every year. Some research has shown that martial arts can also prevent injuries normally caused by falls. The study analyzed the impact of falls and the damage it creates on the hips of people who practiced martial arts. People who were taught falling techniques had less impact on the hips and avoided injury.
Falls can be scary but the fear of falling can be just as alarming. The very thought of falling can trigger lessening activity and depression-like symptoms. Due to conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis and slow blood flow, healing from a fall can take a very long time for seniors. Some martial arts, such as Tai Chi, can help fight these ailments by building core strength and increasing coordination and muscle agility.
Several martial arts classes are geared toward older adults and seniors. Aside from helping your physical and mental health, it can also be a lot of fun!