Getting older doesn't have to mean putting up with creaky joints, a stiff back or a weak body. As the body ages, we need to make changes to prevent injury particularly as it takes the body longer to repair and recover but we don't have to give up. OK, so it's not a good idea to be doing high impact exercise that places a lot of stress on the joints and maybe heavy weight training may not be a good option for you any longer but you can still keep your independence and keep strong and fit.
Pilates is suitable for everyone and it is very low impact on the body. Pilates is suitable for any age, as strong and difficult or as gentle as is needed. Pilates strengthens the deep abdominal muscles and the spine and stabilises the pelvis which is essential for a strong spine. It also strengthens the core which is essential for staying upright and on your feet and keeps the body aligned with feet - knees - hips in line with each other placing less stress on the rest of the body and helping to create good posture. Increases proprioception (awareness of movement of the body and joints a sense of what is going on with the body when moving).
Pilates strengthens the muscles and joints giving the body increased freedom of movement and it also thickens the bones making fractures and breaks less likely to happen. It's ideal for rehabilitation from hip and knee replacement and other injuries.
WHAT CAN YOU GAIN FROM PILATES?
Increasing lung capacity , breathwork and its calming effects.
Pilates is excellent for increasing lung capacity as the focus whilst exercising is very much on breath control and using all the space in the lungs as you breathe deeply. Pilates requires concentration as there are many areas of the body to think about whilst performing each exercise. This alongside the breathwork is very therapeutic and calming.
MEETING INDIVIDUAL NEEDS
Pilates exercises can be broken down and modified and varied to suit the individual. No two bodies are the same and not everyone is at the same level. A good Pilates teacher will encourage and teach with progression in mind but also with the individual and meet them where they are at and advise of any exercises that need to be avoided and what could be done as an alternative. This will help build up confidence and self esteem as the focus of attention is on technique, self improvement and focus on the present not the outcome.
Twice a week would mean you feel the benefits more quickly and will gain more strength and endurance. However Pilates once a week is better than no Pilates at all.
PILATES IS FOR LIFE
Pilates like any form of exercise needs consistency for a person to gain its full benefits.
Like anything else in life you get out what you put in. Pilates isn't something you can do as and when you feel like it, like a relationship it requires attention and commitment and in return what you will gain is a flexible spine a strong body and core. freedom of movement, healthier lungs, increased fitness awareness of the body a more focussed mind.
It is NEVER too late to start Pilates. Don't be put off by thinking everybody else knows what they're doing and you don't. Everybody is younger, so what? Everybody is and if not should be focussed on their own practice and I know as a Pilates Teacher that My Pilates classes are like a family everyone is welcomed and supported, I cant imagine that being any different anywhere else,
Be strong, be flexible, become part of a Pilates family.