Qi Gong is accessible to everyone.
Whether you’re a young person, a great-grandparent, or anywhere in between, Qi Gong can offer you something.
While many Qi Gong practices are well-suited for all age groups, some practices are especially helpful for specific age and fitness levels. For example, if you’re fifty-five years old or older, you might face different health challenges than someone in their twenties. As such, you may want to focus on specific Qi Gong exercises more specific to your unique situation.
If you’re fifty-five or older, this blog post is for you!
Today, we’re going to share a few important Qi Gong exercises that can help with common challenges you might be facing. Our hope is they’ll empower you to continually cultivate youthful energy and vitality, even as you add more years to your life and life to your years.
Please note: in this blog, we’re focusing on one of the most common challenges facing people fifty-five plus, not all of the specific challenges you might face. Every person is unique, so we have a wide selection of blogs that address everything from high blood pressure to deep and persistent fatigue to cultivating healthy relationships and more.
Also, if you’re not fifty-five or older, don’t worry! This is the first of multiple blogs dedicated to serving specific age groups.
What Qi Gong Practices Should People 55+ Do?
The first step to answering this question is to consider the most common challenges you and other people who are fifty-five or older face. Or, stated another way, what are the key elements for health and vitality for people between the ages of fifty-seven and seventy-five?
Although most people fifty-five plus have their own unique challenges, almost all of them can relate to one thing: Physical mobility is important, and it can be harder to maintain as you grow older. As people age, it’s common for joints to become stiff and less flexible.
Limitations in physical mobility can impact numerous aspects of your life. If you enjoy hiking, dancing, or any other form of exercise, the lack of mobility can hinder your enjoyment of the things you love.
Not surprisingly, people are less likely to exercise when they find it difficult to move around as freely. This can lead to other health challenges since movement and exercise are important elements for healthspan and lifespan. In other words, mobility restrictions can lead to additional problems, including falling or other injuries.
It’s important to maintain healthy joints to increase mobility and overall vitality. Not only do healthy joints allow you to move freely, but they also help minimize pain and discomfort.
The best way to maintain healthy joints is to engage in a variety of movements that keep your energy flowing and stretch your tissues. Fortunately, there are many wonderful Qi Gong practices that focus on cultivating fluidity and flexibility throughout your entire body.
We’ve included three Qi Gong exercises below that we recommend you do on a consistent basis if you’re fifty-five or older. When practiced regularly, these exercises can go a long way to helping you stay supple, agile, and well-balanced.
Spinal Cord Breathing
Spinal Cord Breathing is a wonderful Qi Gong exercise to revitalize your spine and cultivate flexibility in your back and neck.
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your hands near your chest and make light, loose fists. Then, inhale slowly through your nose and arch your spine so your face looks up toward the sky and your tailbone sticks out slightly. Bring your hands back toward your shoulders.
Your spine should be arched back so you feel a gentle stretch. Hold that position at the top of your inhale for one to three seconds. Then, exhale slowly as you bring your head down and move your hands inward toward your chest. Bring your hips forward slightly and squeeze your sacrum so your torso contracts forward. At this point in the movement, you should be looking at your chest, creating a gentle stretch along your spine and neck. Hold that position for one to three seconds, and then repeat the movement.
On your inhale, arch your back as you look up toward the sky and move your tailbone back. On your exhale, roll your head toward your chest and bring your hips forward. Continue doing this movement in synchronicity with your breath for three to five minutes. Feel your spine loosen up as you cultivate more flexibility in your back.
Oiling the Shoulder Joints
It’s common for stiffness and stagnation to center around your shoulder joints. It’s important to work with your shoulder joints to keep your shoulders and arms fluid and flexible.
With your feet still shoulder-width apart, let your hands rest by your side. Then, move your left shoulder up, forward, down, and then back to make a gentle forward circle. Make sure your arms and hands are relaxed by your side so your shoulder can move freely.
Try to relax as much as possible when you do this movement so your shoulder can release any tension or tightness it’s holding. Circle your left shoulder forward for one-to-two minutes, and then reverse and do it in the other direction for one-to-two minutes.
Do the same movement with your right shoulder when you’re finished with your left shoulder. With your hands relaxed by your side, do slow forward shoulder rotations for one-to-two minutes. Then, change directions and do the same thing in reverse. Feel your shoulder muscles relax and release tension.
For the third exercise, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and relax your arms by your side. Then, bring your hands in front of you with the back of your hands facing one another so your palms are facing out, and raise them upward in front of you. When your hands are extended above you, circle your right hand to the right and your left hand to the left so they’re making big circles in the air. Bring your hands down slowly and back to the middle of your body, then do this movement again.
This movement is called The Fountain because it mirrors the movements of a large water fountain. In addition to cultivating fluidity and flexibility in your joints and muscles, it also helps cultivate the Water Element, which is important for many aspects of your health and well-being.
If you enjoyed these three Qi Gong movements and want to learn more exercises for cultivating greater mobility, be sure to check out our Free Two-Week Qi Gong Trial.
Cultivate Youthful Health And Vitality With The Two-Week Qi Gong Trial
The Two Week Trial is a wonderful way to learn a variety of different Qi Gong exercises, each of which contributes to holistic health and well-being. Because Qi Gong engages your body in activating, stretching, and flowing movements, it is a great practice for increasing physical mobility and resilience.
All of the routines in the Two-Week Trial are led by master teacher Lee Holden. Learn more and discover how Qi Gong can help you cultivate long-term health and wellness.