Free tai chi class helps Texarkana seniors fight balance issues


TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Some senior citizens in Texarkana are seeing improvement in their ability to move, and it’s all thanks to a new tai chi class.

According to the National Institute on Aging, balance problems are among the most common reasons older adults go to the doctor. New Boston resident Michelle Clark said her balance has improved tremendously while taking the tai chi class. “I don’t have to hold onto a wall or lean against a wall or anything anymore. I’m getting my balance back to where I can do things like I used to,” she said.

Marlaina Luebbert leads the group. “If you feel like you’re going to fall, there’s a way out and that’s based on stepping that’s based on movement.”

Rebecca Watson has been practicing these moves for 6 months. She said she now sits and stands differently. “You go back and you look where your chair’s at, you touch your chair with the back of your calves, you know where your chair’s gonna be when you sit.”  

“Soft knees is very important, especially when you get older, we have a tendency of planting, stiff-legged and that’s one of the worst things you can do,” said Clark. 

This gentle workout can even help strengthen the memory along with increasing flexibility. And, women in the group said they’ve even made new friends. “It’s a great group of ladies that bond, that enjoy one another, that encourage one another, and we have a lot of fun,” said Luebbert. 

“You may think you don’t have any issues with balance or you think your core’s real tight but as we age, we lose more than we think, and this is a really gentle, great start,” said Clark.

A new class began Monday, July 29, at the Area Agency on Aging at 4808 Elizabeth St., Texarkana, Texas. If you’re at least 60, you can join. The group meets on Monday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. for 24 weeks. For more information or to sign up, call 903-832-8636.

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