Moving our bodies, breathing fresh air, and enjoying a sense of community are all components of healthy living. Lake Oswego Adult Community Center in Lake Oswego, OR, offers various activities that engage our older adult population such as yoga, dance, gardening, and Tai Chi, to name a few. Fred Nomura, a Tai Chi instructor in Lake Oswego, is helping to provide these healthy components of life to residents with a special focus on healthy aging.
Nomura has been teaching Tai Chi at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center for 15 years. He teaches 4 hours a week at the Adult Community Center and a summer class in Lake Oswego's beautiful Millennium Plaza Park. Classes include both men and women of varying ages, majority of which are in their late 70s, and our oldest participant to date has been 87 years old. Older adults participating in the Tai Chi classes experience mental, social and physical benefits. Most participants attending Nomura's classes at the Adult Community Center and Millennium Plaza Park are there not only to learn a graceful and fun exercise, but also to improve physical balance and reduce the risk of falls. Any activity that can reduce the number of falls an older adult might experience is a benefit to the aging population. The class practices slow, intentional movements, with balance being a main focus while activating both small and large muscle groups.
Many participants have shared that they attend the Tai Chi classes to gain a more rich and evolved sense of community. Tai Chi in the park gives everyone a chance to "enjoy the outdoors and the setting" Nomura says. The location provides a flat, stable surface and exposure to Oregon's beautiful summers. Gathering with friends to move in a serene and beautiful way is one path to healthy living for the folks in Lake Oswego.
Annilee Durfey Hyre is a Fitness Coordinator at Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.