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If you want to stay on your feet and avoid falls, Tai Chi For Balance by Chris Cinnamon is an essential book for your library. 

Chris presents 35 exercises that anyone, regardless of age, can do to improve stability and help prevent falling. 

Why Is It Important To Prevent Falls?

“Every year, approximately 3.7 million Americans turn 65,” says the Illinois Department of Health. “As this segment of the population grows, so does the number of people who are most susceptible to fall-related injuries and deaths.”

Falls can lead to broken bones and head injuries. 

In fact, the IDPH says an adult dies from a fall every 20 minutes in the U.S.

Falls are the leading cause of injury death for adults 65 and over, according to the CDC

But, Chris—an exercise physiologist and head instructor at Chicago Tai Chi—argues that falls are preventable through exercise, particularly tai chi. 

Using Tai Chi For Balance

Chris cites multiple research studies that conclude that tai chi is safe for adults to practice to reduce falling, among many other benefits

Tai chi is generally:

  • Accessible to anyone anywhere. 
  • Easy on joints and muscles. 
  • Inexpensive to practice. 

Which Is More Important: Stability Or Balance?

One insight I took away from this book was that balance is a misnomer.

Chris argues stability is more important than preventing falls than balance. 

Balance is easy, in a sense—it’s a static state. 

In other words, once you’re standing, as long as you don’t move, you can stay standing for a while. 

Stability, on the other hand, is dynamic. 

Stability requires a whole-body awareness of our center of gravity and base of support to help us become more resistant to falling. 

How To Practice Tai Chi For Balance

Through this book, Chris provides 35 practical exercises to increase our whole-body awareness and stability to reduce the likelihood we’ll fall. 

He starts with the same setup he offers up in Tai Chi For Knee Health: the 70% Rule and Neutral Posture. 

He then grounds his recommendations in the 7 Circles through a series of exercises and sensitivity drills we can use.

My favorite part? 

There are minimal Chinese words introduced, and you don’t need to learn a foreign language or theory to understand the benefits of these exercises.

Chris demystifies movements rooted in Chinese martial arts and puts forward a practical, thorough system in which to prevent falls. 

Tai Chi Walking

More than simple tai chi exercises, Chris offers up a method of walking to help prevent falls on slick surfaces such as ice or rain. 

Final Thoughts

Get this book! 

In addition to the text, you’ll also get access to nearly 90 minutes of online practice videos where Chris personally demonstrates each movement for you. 

For $19.99, it’s hard to find more value when staying on your feet. 

How to join tai chi chuan class in Metamora
Adam Bockler

Adam Bockler is the head instructor for Metamora Martial Arts. He's practiced and taught martial arts for 20+ years, holds black belts in karate and tai chi chuan, and is also a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise.