Living Better, Living Longer, Living Happier
By Cindy A. Borgonzi
It’s my belief that all education and exercise needs to be fun and uplifting, because all the good energy stays with us all day and boots our outlook on life. I teach a class called Fit for Life Gold at local senior centers in Boston, Massachusetts, and I focus on keeping seniors well through physical and mental activities that generate more overall fitness and happiness. It’s my belief working with seniors for over five years what older adults want most is to live independently and incorporating Qi Gong into their daily lives becomes way of life that will both physically and spiritually keep individuals, on a journey towards a lifetime of good chi and good health. I teach Therapeutic Qi Gong as part of my Fit for Life Gold class, and one of my main goals is to provide students with the health benefits of Qi Gong and this makes a big difference in their lives and commitment to practice. My students love to receive information on how it provides older adults the opportunity of preventing and healing various illnesses and premature aging by doing the soothing exercises. I focus on how easy it is to learn, and for best results it’s done as a daily practice and do remind them of that in each class. My focus is on what they “can do” to prevent premature aging and keep themselves feeling well for many years. I have found once students learn Qi Gong they keep coming back for more, because they experience many positive emotional and physical health benefits from the powerful healing practice. My students come for many years and are curious and want to learn more about preventative health practices and the Chinese healing arts. Most of my students learn Tai Chi which gives them a higher level of training. The main thing I keep in mind as a Qi Gong instructor is what is best for my students and they like variety and fun so I think out side the box and I’m always changing up the class which seniors aren’t so receptive to, but interestingly enough they rise to the occasion every time and they are healthier and more confident as the years go on.
I tell my students “you don’t have to run in a super marathon to be healthy and fit you just need to keep physically and spiritually active every day”.
These are some simple tricks in class to keep the good energy flowing and to keep students coming to class consistently:
- Keep it Fun – spice it up and find a variety of fun physical activities that lift your student’s spirits and keep the good chi moving: Zumba Gold, Country Line Dancing, Weight Lifting, Tibetan eye exercises, active isolated stretching.
- Every Little Bit Makes a Positive Difference – Teach anywhere Qi Gong exercises they can do anytime, anywhere: when they wake up, in the car, while cooking, while watching TV, while at the computer, or gain energy, etc.
- Buddy system– remind students often, and offer different incentives to have them bring a friend to class this exponentially increases happiness and spreads the health experience of Qi Gong many people never heard of it. Something I have done as an instructor you can get your own buddy to co-teach with you so you always have backup and new ideas.
- Health Fairs – educate and do demonstrations at health fairs at local senior centers and have people sign up for a free class to kick start a Qi Gong class. Most senior centers don’t require fees so you get paid directly.
Seniors are wonderful to work with and they “can do” progressively more than they think they can do. Qi Gong I have found is a real confidence booster for seniors and keeps them active and living independently. Every time I think I have too much on my plate and can’t teach I remind myself of this fact “where else can you go and get hugged and told how much your appreciated in this life”. I will never quit! I’m in it for life!