Do you know someone who is aging too fast? Not premature aging caused by disease, but instead caused by aging more rapidly than we really should or more rapidly than we have to. Do you know what it looks like when someone is aging too quickly? Why is it that some people live a healthy and vibrant life right up until the end and others suffer, and worse yet accept it as normal? One of the major reasons this happens to so may people may surprise you. Let's start with the 7 Symptoms of Premature Aging.
Shortness of breath (reduced lung capacity) Cold hands and feet (poor circulation) Bad balance (falling is one of the leading causes of death for the elderly) Sick too often (poorly functioning immune system) Waking up tired too often in the morning (poor sleep quality) Can't bend over or touch your toes, etc. (lack of flexibility) Feeling weak and tired (decreased muscle strength & low energy) I remember a day in biology class when I learned that a frog will sit in a pot of water while boils. As long as it's heated gradually enough, he will just sit there until he dies.
I think that slowly debilitating symptoms sneak up on us in much the same way, because they are so gradual. We don't seem to realize that all we have to do is get out of the pot. How many people do you know who suffer from these symptoms and don't even seem to realize they're aging prematurely? Why do so many people have to suffer a severe set-back or a loss of physical independence before they even realize they're aging? There are 2 main reasons for this type of suffering: lack of exercise and improper exercise. Millions of people are suffering from this right now. Do you know someone who is suffering a little more every day? Are you? How Old Should You Be Before You Begin To Age Gracefully? How would you like to look when you're 40, when you're 50, 60, 70, how about 80 or 90? With very few exceptions we slow down and become weaker as we age and maybe, just maybe, there is something we can do about it.
My Chinese Master began studying tai chi at the ripe old age of four. His grandfather, a senior disciple (protégé) of the great Yang Chengfu, began teaching his grandson as soon as he was old enough to pay attention. As a result, Master Cui Zhongsan is now 60, moves like someone in his twenties, and looks about 20 years younger than he really is. I'll tell you a little more about this in a minute. It's an amusing story about childhood motivation.
Most of us don't enjoy the advantage of having a master as a grandfather. I started when I was 40. While I was blessed with a baby face that always made me look younger than I was, I also suffered knee injuries in my teens that required surgery. I've always been pretty active while at same time I've often suffered minor injuries along with frequent knee pain. Now, 7 years later, my knee pain is almost non-existent, I'm much more flexible, I have more stamina, and I feel great.
These are only a few of the reasons why I practice tai chi regularly. When I first started I didn't practice much unless I was in class - once, maybe twice a week. I still felt better, and I wasn't feeling that bad to begin with. A couple of years before I became a disciple (protégé) of Master Cui Zhongsan I injured my feet running and couldn't practice for about 6 months.
Although a number of my friends are marathon runners, my body doesn't seem to want me to run that hard. I usually only run a couple of months out of the year so I can get ready for the Peachtree Road Race on the 4th of July here in Atlanta, Georgia. Because I don't run regularly, and wasn't paying attention to what my body was telling me, I ended up with a severe injury. Through tai chi I've learned how to really pay attention to my body and to stop before I injure myself. I used to think I was just sore because I was a weekend warrior. Tai Chi has taught me how to really pay attention to my body, and it does this for everyone.
Sometimes I still get sore, but I don't seem to injure myself anymore. I've found tai chi to be addictive because of the way it makes me feel. So give it try; you might find you feel the same way.
posted by John Crewdson - http://www.beginningtaichi.net Experience Free Bursts of Tai Chi(TM) click here - http://tinyurl.com/3n9zj8