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Tai chi instructor Karen Fischer, center, guides a class through the steps of the ancient Chinese martial art Tuesday at Willmar Community Center. Also pictured is Cordy Jeremiason, left, and Jean Opitz. Fischer, who works with the Atwater Living at Home Block Nurse Program, teaches older adults how to harness tai chi to benefit their overall health. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

Tai chi class helps older adults with flexibility, balance, inner harmony


Bodies turn and arms unfold in slow, fluid movements as Karen Fischer leads a class at the Willmar Community Center through the disciplined steps of tai chi.

"Step to the right. Arms out. Palms out," Fischer intones. "Turn. Leg in. Turn. Leg out."

Her students concentrate silently on each of the ritual moves. Fischer isn't training a roomful of aspiring warriors. She's teaching older adults how to harness the ancient Chinese martial art of tai chi to benefit their health.

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Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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