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Take Control with Exercise

Improve Your Life

Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program is one of the four offerings of the Arthritis Foundation Life Improvement Series. The Series reflects the many ways that people with arthritis can grow stronger, feel better and take control.

 

Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program is a community based, non clinical group exercise program designed to help those who have joint and or muscle problems achieve improved joint mobility, muscle strength and endurance in order to improve the performance of their daily activities.

 

The class can be done sitting or standing- your choice. Class consists of warm ups, range of motion exercises, joint checks to see how you are doing, an aerobic section that will include strengthening and help with endurance, cool downs, breathing, relaxation exercises, and information on arthritis.

 

There are 72 physical therapist approved exercises to choose from and the instructor will develop plans that can be easily remembered so soon you can be doing them at home between classes. Special attention will be given to correct posture and body awareness that will help with everyday activities such as reaching up into the cupboard or tying your shoes. Class may include a theraband or light weights. Even beach balls will be used to add to the fun.

 

As participants become familiar with the basic class their will be opportunities to participate in an advanced class that will include exercises on the floor

 

 

To Learn More About the Exercise Program Click below

  [ The Objectives [ A Sample Class
  [ Who Participates [ Class Information, Availability and Cost
  [ How Exercise Can be Effective for Arthritis [
  [ Arthritis Exercise Principles [ Partnership with Arthritis Foundation
     
  The Objectives of the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program
  • To participate in a safe and enjoyable exercise program

  • To reduce your pain, fatigue and stiffness

  • To restore or maintain your joint range of motion

  • To decrease your stress, depression and isolation.

  • To improve your performance of daily activities

  • To increase your flexibility of the joints and muscles surrounding the joint

  • To maintain or increase your muscle strength

  • To improve your posture

  • To improve your balance and coordination

  • To increase your endurance

  • To improve your self image an self esteem through increased physical well-being

  • To increase your awareness of arthritis exercise principles, joint protection principle and relaxation techniques and provide participants with methods for incorporating these self-care skills into the home environment.

  AFEP is for All Ages All Abilities  
 

The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP) is designed for anyone with arthritis or related rheumatic disease or musculoskeletal conditions. Some participants may not have arthritis but are interested in a joint friendly exercise program. Other participants may be older, sedentary and are limited by joint motion to those with only mild joint involvement and or problems with fatigue.

Although this program is  fun and safe it should not replace exercises that have been prescribed by your doctor or therapist.

Instructors are specially trained by the Arthritis Foundation to understand that individual class member will be unique for several reasons:

  • There are over 100 kinds of arthritis

  • Even within one diagnosis, symptoms and severity may vary greatly

  • There are often periods of lessening and worsening of symptoms with rheumatic diseases

  • Some class members may use a wheelchair, others may prefer to sit for exercise, others my be able to stand up or do floor exercises.

  • People in class will change and improve during the exercise class

All ages welcome!

Anyone can benefit from this class, including those interested in maintaining healthy joints as well as those living with arthritis

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  How Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program Can Be Effective For Arthritis

 

The AFEP has several components. These include:

 

 
  • Range of motion exercise
  • Strengthening exercises using gravity, light weights or a theraband if tolerated
  • Endurance activities to build up muscle strength
  • Weight bearing activities
  • Balance and coordination activities
  • Posture and body awareness activities
  • Breathing exercises
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Health education
  • Practical tips
  • Movement activities
  • Activities to promote self care

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  Arthritis Exercise Principles

 

 
  • People with arthritis should have guidance from their physician or therapist before starting any exercise program

  • Arthritis exercises (tai chi, aerobic, endurance, strength,  bicycling, walking, swimming) should be done on a regular basis on good and "bad" days.

  • To minimize stress on joints, an exercise period should begin with warm up of slow exercises.

  • On days of joint pain, an inflamed joint should only be moved gently through its range of motion. The exercise time should be decreased.

  • When exercising, move at your own pace not the instructor's or your neighbor's.

  • Arthritis exercises must be performed with a slow steady rhythm without bouncing.

  • Always listen to your body and do not over-do exercises. If an exercise hurts you should stop and ask questions. If you are tired you should sit down and rest, and/or continue in the chair if you were standing.

  • Full range of motion is encouraged during any arthritis exercise which will feel like a light stretch but should not be forced. Do not allow anyone to assist you in your range of motion unless it is by a therapist or under a therapist orders.

  • Learn how to tell the difference between increased joint pain (which you want to avoid) and muscle soreness after new exercises ( which is a normal response to a new activity).

  • The amount and type  of exercise that people with arthritis should do at any particular time needs to be determined by themselves, their doctors and their therapists.

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  A Sample Class- a few movements for you to see
 

 Warm up (Sitting or standing)

Endurance

 
  1. Head turns
  2. Shoulder shrugs
  3. March swinging arms
  1. March and kick

  2. Leg Swings

  3. Hip walk

 

Joint Check

Strength ( Sitting isometrics and Theraband)

 
  1. Fix collar- touch neck; hands down

  2. Self back rub-pull your shirt down in back

  3. Heel to shinbone- check your shoe laces

  1. Shoulder blade pinch

  2. Elbow Bend

  3. Leg bend and lift

 

Upper Body

Balance
 
  1. Finger walk

  2. Elbow bend

  3. Deep breath with sideways arm reach

  1. Squeeze and Bend
  2. Side step
  3. Tip Toe
 

Lower Body

Cool Down

 
  1. Easy march or heel jacks
  2. toe taps
  3. Inner thigh stretch
  1. breath with arm raise

  2. shoulder circles

  3. Relaxation guided imagery

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  Class Structure and Information

 

   Please read general information about Classes offered by Community Tai Chi
  • TCAF Classes are held at the Catherine Bonifas Civic Center Escanaba MI                               on Tuesday 10:30 AM- 11:30 AM
  • If there is interest, additional day, afternoon or evening classes will be offered at various facilities in the area
  • Each class lasts 60 minutes
  • Pre-registration is required because:

    •  There is a size limit  for class

    •  Personal instruction is emphasized as well as group instruction.

  • Sessions are scheduled in a 8 week series, with one class per week.
  • Cost is charged per session. See Registration page for complete details

  • Session schedule ( tentative) See Schedule and Registration page for complete list

    • Session 1: Brilliant Autumn Oct - Nov 2007 8 wks

    • Session 3: Winter  Wonderland Jan - March  8 wks

    • Session 4: Spring Has Sprung March- May  8 weeks

    • Summer: To Be Announced

*No Classes held during Thanksgiving week, high school and college springbreaks

       

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The Statewide Partnership

 
 

In partnership with the Michigan Chapter Arthritis Foundation Exercise Alliance, Community Tai Chi is approved to provide  Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program.

For More information on the Arthritis Foundation, please click right.

 

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