Art of Aging: Martial arts helps seniors find balance

Tamala Edwards Image
Thursday, December 10, 2015
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One woman uses martial arts to help seniors to be better balanced.

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (WPVI) -- One woman uses martial arts to help seniors to be better balanced.

Alexandra Goldman had been taking tai chi classes on weekends for years, but when she was diagnosed with Lyme disease, her hobby became her healer.

"By doing the breathing, by getting able to ambulate, I helped with the arthritis that my body got full of," said Alexandra.

So she turned from a career in the construction industry to teaching tai chi.

Alexandra became a missionary for the healing powers of martial arts and massage.

She said, "Every day I get up and I want to help somebody. I'm strong and I'm positive. It's the only way to be."

Alexandra starts her day visiting some of the 25 retirement communities where she leads her peers in tai chi classes.

Helen Weinstein, the Marketing Dir. of Cherry Hill Senior Living said, "When she comes in, first of all everybody's amazed at her age."

"I'm 72 and nobody believes it," said Alexandra.

Keith Mazza is a Tai Chi & Kung Fu Master.

He said, "I mean she's in better shape than people 20 and 30-years-younger."

Alexandra has passed her love of martial arts on to her son who is a master of kung fu and tai chi. Both tout tai chi as a way to keep the body moving as you age.

"People tend to slow down. The less they do, the less they want to do. Here, doing these type of exercises 5-10 minutes a day it just helps more energy," said Keith.

And at the retirement communities she serves, administrators notice the difference in the residents taking the classes.

Lifestyle 360 Director Annette Campbell said, "They're more energetic. They were staying in their apartments, and now they are coming out and socializing."

Alexandra added, "I love teaching. I love to see something come out of it. I like to see them walk. I like to show them that they have balance."

You can find more ideas for staying active as you age on our Art of Aging section.