Everyone from Jennifer Aniston to John Cleese takes part in Pilates regularly, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re 19 or 79, there’s always a Pilates exercise to suit you!
One of the great things about Pilates is that you can modify the exercises to meet the needs of the person, which means you can take part, no matter your age! The creator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, was still practising the discipline well into his eighties, so there’s no reason why you can’t do it too!
Pilates has become a firm favourite in the fitness world – everyone is doing it – so it comes as no surprise to hear that there are senior citizens all over the world who enjoy regular Pilates sessions. There are many benefits for seniors when taking part in Pilates, such as strength, flexibility, stamina and balance, which all contribute to your physical well-being.
Keeping fit is essential for the older population, so it’s comforting to know that there is a form of exercise that won’t be too hard on the body, as a lot of workouts might. Pilates is great if you haven’t exercised in a while, as it’s very safe and isn’t severe on joints and muscles. The exercises used focus mainly on the core muscles (abdominal and those close to the spine), which will have a positive impact on your posture.
As Pilates exercises focus on the middle of your body as opposed to the arms and legs, there is a reduced chance of injury. It teaches control and stability, while keeping motion within a small range, which allows you to keep control and gain confidence as you gradually work towards a larger range of movement. This is crucial for older adults because it helps to improve their functional movement, balance especially, helping to reduce the risk of a fall.
If you suffer from Arthritis, you can benefit from Pilates. Because of the main focus on your core muscles, there is less chance of your joints being compromised and compressing, so you can still move around and take part in all the exercises. Pilates is also helpful with other age-related conditions. It may increase bone density in the spine and the hip, so it’s good for those who suffer with Osteoporosis. Pilates stretches out tight back muscles and strengthens those that can pull you into a hunched position. Make sure you let your instructor know if you do have a medical condition such as those mentioned, so they can modify the exercises to suit your needs; it could be very dangerous and detrimental to your health otherwise.