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Free tai chi classes available at library and CCL

Free tai chi classes structured for senior adults are scheduled at 10 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning Sept. 6 and continuing through Oct. 27 at the Lawton Public Library, 110 SW 4th.

The classes are being presented by the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative (OHAI) with Emele Torres, Southwest Center of Healthy Aging education specialist as instructor. Some dates are subject to change due to availability and pre-registration is required. To register, call Torres at 699-3977 or e-mail emerald-torresouhsc.edu.

The initiative says movements of the Chinese martial art tai chi can help folks reduce the risk of falling and increase balance and flexibility. Those who attend classes should walk away with tools for improving balance and posture, strengthening muscles, improving their quality of sleep, increasing energy levels, relieving stress, lowering high blood pressure and reducing arthritic symptoms, according to information provided by OHAI.

Torres said it will be the first tai chi class she has taught. "The other (OHAI) educator has been teaching a few and has definitely reported that there is an objective improvement in balance and gait in her participants," Torres said.

Research suggests that practicing tai chi may improve balance and stability in older people and those with Parkinson's, reduce pain from knee osteoarthritis, help people cope with fibromyalgia and back pain, and promote quality of life and mood in people with heart failure and cancer, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

The Lawton Constitution

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