Listen to The Perfect Scam Podcast and Nominate It for a People’s Choice Podcast Award! Find Out More
by Carole Carson, AARP, October 16, 2008|Comments: 0
Richard DicKard, 66, of Comptonville, Calif., enthusiastically advocates the exercise of tai chi, or "moving meditation," as he describes it. After practicing for more than 10 years, Richard has strengthened his bones and muscles, improved his balance, and increased his flexibility.
Appealing to both men and women, this sport combines elements of yoga, Pilates, meditation, and martial arts. In the self-defense portion of tai chi, an aggressor's move is used against him or her.
According to Richard, it took a year for him to reach a level of competence. Mastery is slowly acquired, so the exercise can be a lifetime sport appropriate for almost any age group. Teenagers and octogenarians often attend the same sessions.
The body eventually memorizes 60 to 100 movements. With each session, performance improves.
"It's like peeling an onion," Richard explains. "Each layer reveals a new aspect." He adds, "Because tai chi isn't a jock-type sport, it isn't always recognized for the skill and ability it demands."
Richard is a dentist and spends hours each day leaning over patients, stooping, sitting down, and bending. His profession puts him at risk for back problems. In addition, Richard's father had trouble with movement as he aged and at one point fell and broke his hip. Physically demanding work and the desire to maintain mobility and vitality as he ages are powerful motivators for Richard to practice healthy habits.
"I recommend tai chi to anyone wanting a lifelong, safe, practical, and health-promoting exercise," Richard says.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Enter address, city, state, or ZIP code.
Driver Safety (0)
Tax Aide (0)
Entertainment & Dining (0)
Healthcare & Insurance (0)
Financial Services & Insurance (0)
Member Local Offers (0)
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
Members save on eye exams and eyewear at participating locations.
Members earn points on select Walgreens brand health and wellness products.
Free telephone-administered confidential hearing test for AARP members.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at