Tai Chi is a slow and gentle exercise that is suitable for older adults with chronic illness. This exercise offers the benefits of flexibility, muscle strengthening, and endurance training. Tai Chi has the capability of improving the health of elders without exacerbating existing impairments. Therefore, older adults may be more inclined to participate in and maintain an exercise program. The purpose of this article is to (1) compare Tai Chi to muscle-strengthening and aerobic exercise, (2) describe possible mechanisms for the effects of Tai Chi on factors that contribute to disability, and (3) identify nursing interventions to promote the use of Tai Chi.
Patricia A. Adler, PhD(c), RN, CS, Doctoral Candidate, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.
Beverly L. Roberts, PhD, FAAN, FGSA, Annabel Davis Jenks Professor, College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville.