Many seniors are interested in the practice of Kung Fu but shy away from it because they feel they are too old. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only is Kung Fu available to seniors, the health and mental benefits make it the perfect choice for older adults.
Kung Fu can be performed in a slow and relaxed manner which allows the mind and body to relax. Further, the mediation aspect of Kung Fu is ideal for seniors.
What follows are some of additional benefits of Kung Fu for seniors:
Confidence boost. Aging adults may feel as if they can’t do many of the things they used to be able to do. Martial arts can help to boost their confidence and make them feel more capable.
Improved mental alertness. There is a strong link between any physical activity and mental alertness and the practice of Kung Fu is a great way to work out the body and the mind.
Increased flexibility and strength. While many martial arts movements do not require a great deal of strength to perform, they still work a majority of the major muscle groups. They also increase coordination, muscle tone and stamina.
Self-defense techniques. Seniors are often seen as easy targets for criminals. Martial arts provides self-defense training and techniques that can help older adults better protect themselves.
Sense of community. Many seniors suffer from a sense of isolation. Training with others gives seniors them a feeling of community.
There are a variety of martial arts options for seniors that will improve their mental and physical well-being. That being said, not every senior is cut out for martial arts and not every studio is equipped to handle a senior clientele. If you are a senior who is considering the martial arts, or have a loved one who is considering it, here are some things you need to keep in mind:
- Anyone beginning an exercise program should consult with a physician first.
- Make sure that the studio is equipped to work with seniors. For example, are instructors qualified to work with older adults?
- Slower reaction times in seniors means sparring is probably not in their best interest.
- Stretching is especially important for seniors.
Martial arts training is an excellent way for seniors to stay healthy mentally and physically. The key is to make sure they are well enough to participate and are trained by someone who is qualified to work with seniors.