Tai Chi for diabetes coming to Tanner

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A new class coming to Carrollton aims to improve the control of diabetes through training in the ancient Chinese martial art of tai chi.


Tanner Health System’s Get Healthy, Live Well will begin offering free Tai Chi for Diabetes classes this fall. Details on how to sign up will be released later this month.


“Being more physically active is an important part of diabetes prevention and management,” said Amy Riedesel, community health director at Tanner. “But that doesn’t mean you have to go out and run or engage in other high-intensity activities. Tai Chi for Diabetes is a low-impact activity that’s fun, easy to learn and doesn’t put unnecessary stress on your joints.”


The goal of the program is to improve mobility and physical function in adults with diabetes through sessions of tai chi, which combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow, gentle movements. The low-impact activity uses shifts in body position and stepping in coordination with arm movements.


Studies show gentle exercise like tai chi helps prevent diabetes in 60 percent of cases. And a University of Florida study shows that regularly practicing tai chi can help people better control their diabetes and lower blood glucose levels.


For people with physical restrictions, Get Healthy, Live Well’s tai chi instructor will provide modified lessons that can be done in a seated position. In addition to helping prevent and manage diabetes, the class helps prevent falls by improving strength and balance. It will also help participants reduce stress and improve posture.


The Tai Chi for Diabetes program is based on Sun and Yang style tai chi. Besides the fundamental 11-movement tai chi, it contains an advanced nine-movement set, which includes a warm up, cool down and Qigong breathing exercises.


While the class is for adults with diabetes, any adult is welcome to participate. For more information about Get Healthy, Live Well, visit GetHealthyLiveWell.org.