WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PILATES FOR WOMEN OVER 60?
Pilates is wonderful for everybody of every age. Seniors, in particular, may benefit from a Pilates practice with balance, strength, flexibility, focus, and breath at its core. Increased coordination and stability is crucial for seniors as it can help improve functional movement, including balance while standing and walking. Pilates can increase strength and flexibility in both the core and the legs, which positively affects balance and may help to prevent falls.
Many seniors who participate in a Pilates-based exercise programs report increased energy, decreased aches and pains, and improved quality of life.
Pilates is a great way for older women to start exercising because it’s low impact and can be modified to suit your level of strength and mobility. You can start doing Pilates at almost any level of fitness and cardiovascular strength. Of course, you should be sure to check with your doctor first before embarking on a new fitness plan, especially if you have any known health issues or haven’t worked out in a while.
Here are 8 benefits of Pilates:
- Pilates is gentle and modifiable
Many Pilates activities can be performed non weight-bearing while lying, reclining, or seated. Pilates is virtually non-impact, which is especially beneficial for ageing joints. Pilates can also be integrated with rehabilitation from surgical procedures like a hip replacement or knee surgery. A certified instructor will be able to modify Pilates exercises to best suit the individual needs of seniors, including those who have osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other conditions.
- Increases strength, flexibility, and endurance
Pilates instruction begins with an emphasis on control and stability within small ranges of motion to build strength and endurance rather than large and aggressive movements that can cause early fatigue – or even injury. As seniors gain control and confidence, they may progress to greater ranges of motion that can also improve flexibility and ease of movement.
- Heightens body awareness and helps prevent falls
Posture, balance, breathing, and core strength are all foundational elements of Pilates. This attention to increased coordination and stability is crucial for seniors as it can help improve functional movement, including balance while standing and walking. Pilates may increase strength and flexibility in both the core and the legs, which can positively affects balance.
- Improves and maintains mobility
During this past decade, sedentary behaviour has emerged as a major health risk factor, regardless of age. It can be challenging to maintain mobility as we age, but research shows being sedentary has so many negative health consequences, such as higher rates of cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancers, diabetes, muscle and bone deterioration, dementia, and depression. In many cases, the physical benefits of Pilates enable seniors to improve and maintain mobility, which in turn helps keep them stronger and in better spirits.
- Lessens the effects of debilitating medical conditions
Research shows that exercise programs can slow the progress of age-related conditions like osteoporosis and sarcopenia (muscle loss) and might even help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Regardless of the medical condition or training method, regular exercise helps seniors to maintain their independence longer – a major factor in slowing disease progression and improving quality of life.
- Improve Your Posture and Confidence
Pilates helps strengthen and tone the muscles, starting from the body’s core. Many women over 60 have reported looking and feeling more confident as a result of doing Pilates. Pilates can help make your back stronger and may help you to stand up straighter. It can also affects how you carry yourself throughout the day.
- Build Stronger Bones
Older women are often at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Pilates may assist with “bone building” to strengthen your bones as well as your muscles.
- Make Your Workouts More Convenient
Pilates does not require special equipment. While some classes use a Pilates ball or stretchy band, these are optional. So, Pilates can be done in almost any setting – at home by yourself, with a personal trainer or coach, or in a Pilates class.
The founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, said that,
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young.”