The purpose of this study was to conduct a pilot evaluation of a Proto Tai Chi exercise program for older adults and gain insight into the design of future trials involving those who are physically and cognitively frail. Proto Tai Chi (aka Wu Qin Xi) is a simple and intuitive Chinese exercise from which Tai Chi evolved. Twenty-four older adults (74.2 ± 7.5 years, range 65-92) participated in a 5-day, 90-minute/day structured evaluation of a Proto Tai Chi exercise program. Mean completed exercise time by participants per protocol was 98.6%. Participants reported the program to be enjoyable and beneficial. Preliminary efficacy of the program was supported by improvement in measures of walking speed and range of motion at post-test. Results indicate that Proto Tai Chi is a well-accepted exercise option for older adults that may improve physical function and mobility. These preliminary findings merit further investigation in the frail elderly.
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