MARTIAL arts are for oldies, too.

Elderly members of the Santisimo Rosario Parish got free martial arts lessons as the College of Rehabilitation Sciences (CRS) concluded its first tai chi program for senior citizens last April 18.

According to CRS community development coordinator Lucylin Magtoto, the three-month tai chi program, is the newest wellness program and social development project of the College.

“This ongoing community program of CRS aims to maintain good health among elder parishioners,“ Magtoto said.

Inspired by Taoism, tai chi is an ancient form of Chinese martial art and meditation that uses “chi”, the body’s vital force, to create good internal circulation patterned after the functions of the vascular and nervous system to enhance health.

A tai chi instructor conducted the first set of Saturday classes with help from some Sports Science students, Magtoto said.

They underwent health and fitness examinations before and after the program to monitor the effect of the lessons on their health, Magtoto said.

Elvira Mandap, one of the participants, said tai chi did not only normalize her sugar level but it also changed her lifestyle.

“At first we thought that is was just a form of weight-reduction exercise“, Mandap said. “It was holistic. In a sense, we learned to slow down, become stress-free, and have a disciplined diet.”

Although the sessions have ended, Mandap and her colleagues will continue the habit. “We look forward in doing tai chi in the privacy of our homes,” she said.

Conducted in partnership with the Office for Community Development and the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, the program will start a new session in June.

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