HONOLULU (KHON2) — “Moving in, and out, repeat on the right side,” said instructor Randy Lau.
Karen Oda, 97-years-old and Madeline Lum, 93-years-old, are improving their strength through tai chi.
“I think it’s a wonderful exercise for me, it gives me a chance to move my muscles,” said student Madeline Lum.
Another student, Karen Oda said “I did Aikido for over 20 years when I was younger, so this is a good follow up.”
This low-impact exercise is known for its gentle movements.
“I fall asleep sometimes because my teacher tells me to relax, relax,” said Lum.
Lau said, “If you’re tight, you have no connection with the earth, your center of balance is off, but if you can relax and sink into the earth, then all your weight starts to center and you have that stability.”
Twice a week, Randy Lau teaches tai chi at the Lanakila Multi Purpose Senior Center. It’s a free class where everyone is seated.
“Well it’s seated so I can isolate the legs, so I can isolate the muscles without the person not having to worry about falling,” explained Lau.
Lau said the more relaxed you are, the stronger you become. And that strength and balance are important when it comes to fall prevention.
Hawaii Department of Health Senior Fall Prevention Specialist, Stan Michaels said “Every year, we have a new cohort of seniors who start falling and even though we do well in Hawaii in terms of overall safety, seniors continue to fall.”
That’s why the HDOH promotes its senior fall prevention campaign year round. Some of their advice to kupuna? Get your eyes checked every year, make your home safer and keep your body moving, like these women.
“It’s a wonderful exercise. Elderly should all take that exercise,” said Oda.
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“Every time I go to the doctor, the doctor tells me, you’re still going to the tai chi? Yes. Did you fall? No. So he’s happy about that,” said Lum.