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Giving back in an ancient way

Paramedic teaches free tai chi class

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ABOVE: Instructor Mary Foust moves through the motions of yang style tai chi Thursday evening during a class that she teaches for free two evenings a week at The Homestead at Logan Acres. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Marlene Marker of rural Bellefontaine, foreground, moves through tai chi motions Thursday evening during a free session at The Homestead at Logan Acres. Also pictured at the far left is Kim Reames. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | MANDY LOEHR)

In her daily work life, West Liberty area resident Mary Foust serves her community as a paramedic and manager with Robinaugh EMS. Now during several evenings each week, she also has taken up a new activity that is another way for her give back to others.

She is instructing free tai chi classes “Moving For Better Balance” at The Homestead at Logan Acres, 2745 County Road 91, that are open to area residents and Logan Acres residents alike.

Although her current class is full, she plans to offer another free 15-week session this winter.

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art performed with gentle motions that offers many health benefits for all ages, such as fighting stress, improving balance and breathing, strengthening muscles and increasing energy and stamina. Studies have shown that it also can reduce blood pressure, frequency of falls and joint pain, and enhance sleep quality.

Ms. Foust got her start with tai chi this summer thanks to a special initiative offered through the Ohio Department of Aging, she explained.

“Our EMS department received an e-mail from the Ohio Department of Aging that free tai chi training was going to be offered. But the one requirement was that participants would then commit to teach tai chi classes where they live.

“It’s all about giving back to the community,” the 24-year member of Robinaugh EMS said.

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