The University of Tennessee Extension – Sequatchie County is bringing its Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program to Lone Oak Community Center beginning Sept. 19. UT Extension Agent II Aneta Eichler said the eight-week program has been offered in other counties for about a decade and the two classes that have been held so far in Dunlap have done very well.
It will be held at Lone Oak Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.
"One of our initiatives is creating a healthier community," said Eichler, who trained in February to be an instructor for the program so that she could bring it to Sequatchie County.
The idea to bring the program to Lone Oak came from local resident Pauline Geary, whom Eichler met through UT Extension's Family and Community Education Club held at the Lone Oak Community Center.
Eichler said anyone can benefit from the hour-long classes, though they're directed toward people with chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain and fibromyalgia. The program is designed to reduce pain and stiffness, help maintain or improve mobility, and build muscle strength, memory and balance. The low-impact class is appropriate for all ages and mobility levels, and seated adaptations of exercises can be provided if necessary.
It's not the type of class in which you're told you have to push yourself and feel the burn, Eichler said.
"We take it very slow," she said. "If you're hurting, it's time to stop."
Participants learn a new form, or tai chi exercise, each week and are then sent home with a diagram of the form they learned in class and encouraged to practice at home for 10 minutes a day to get the full benefits from the program, said Eichler.
The cost of the eight-week course is $48. She said the response at Lone Oak has been good so far, and quite a few people have already signed up.
For more information or to sign up for the program, contact Eichler at 949-2611. The registration deadline is Sept. 15.