Biden’s Foot Injury Underscores Importance of Exercise as We Age

president-elect has hairline fractures in his foot after minor accident at home

By Jonny Lupsha, Wondrium Staff Writer

President-Elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr., fractured his foot while playing with his dog, “Major,” BuzzFeed reported. Biden was taken to an orthopedic specialist where a CT scan showed hairline fractures. Tai chi improves balance and is easy exercise for all ages.

Older couple doing Tai Chi in the park
As we get older, maintaining our physical fitness and health ensures a decreased risk of falling due to a lack of balance. Photo By nullplus / Shutterstock

According to BuzzFeed, President-Elect Biden suffered a minor injury after slipping during some recreation with his rescue dog, a German shepherd named “Major.” “He was taken to Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists in Newark, Delaware, for an assessment by an orthopedic doctor,” the article said. “In an earlier statement, Biden’s primary care doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said an initial X-ray did not show any obvious fractures and that he had only sprained his right foot.

“However, a follow-up CT scan showed that he had ‘hairline (small) fractures’ in his ‘lateral and intermediate cuneiform bones, which are mid-foot.'”

Falling is a major cause of injury and even death as we get older. Tai chi can help improve our balance and prevent falls.

The Facts on Falls

Falling is no joke, especially as we age. “One of the most common causes of death among people 60 and older is falling,” said David-Dorian Ross, International Master Tai Chi Instructor and Founder and CEO of TaijiFit. “Falling can lead to broken bones, being bedridden, nerve damage, and even concussion. Falling costs us more than $10 billion every year.”

One solution to preventing falling is tai chi, which gives the body both a greater equilibrium and overall sense of balance. Ross said that since the mid-1990s, the American Medical Association has even recommended tai chi as the number one form of exercise to improve balance and prevent falling.

Fortunately, tai chi programs, like Ross’s Tai Chi Fit, don’t require much memorization; they can simply be performed by following the movements of an instructor—and there’s even wiggle room there.

“There’s nothing here to learn; there’s nothing here to memorize, nothing to get right,” Ross said. “If you all go this way and we go that way, trust me, we won’t care. We’re just glad that you’re here doing it with us; so, all you have to do is just keep moving, keep breathing, and keep smiling.”

Tai Chair

For the beginning tai chi practitioner, the idea of performing delicate balancing moves like the self-explanatory “Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg” may be intimidating. Ross offered a helpful suggestion.

“There have actually been some scientific studies that say even one finger touching an object, a chair, a counter space, or even another person can make your balance [up to] 100% better,” he said. “As I stand here, I could be shifting side to side doing all my balance movements, maybe even just two fingers sometimes. It makes all the difference in the world.

“If you have any kind of concern at all about your balance, this is a great place to start and then graduate away from.”

Edited by Angela Shoemaker, Wondrium Daily

David-Dorian Ross contributed to this article. Ross is the founder and CEO of TaijiFit and the creator of the TaijiFit mind-body exercise program. He has a BA in Human Movement Studies from San Francisco State University, has completed graduate course work in Physical Education and Chinese, and is developing a project with the head of the Harvard Medical School research department to study the stress-reduction benefits of tai chi (taiji) in the workplace.