Pilates for later life - why you are never too old to benefit from Pilates
As our bodies age we tend to exercise less, and the less exercise we do, the harder it is to start again. But the older we get, the more important exercise becomes for our wellbeing..
Problems associated with poor posture, being overweight and poor muscle tone worsen with age, and knock-on effects such as aches and pains, osteoporosis, poor circulation, insomnia, and lack of energy, can become even more problematic.
The good news is that pilates is a safe form of exercise for all ages and is particularly suitable for people who haven't exercised in a while.
Pilates In Later Life
Pilates is a gentle form of exercise that won't leave you puffed out and thus avoids placing stress on your heart and lungs.
But just because pilates doesn't conform to the "no pain no gain" mentality of other exercise regimes, don't think that it isn't an excellent route to increased fitness.
Working at your own pace, you will build up your stamina, strength and flexibility; stretching, lengthening and strengthening muscles as you do so. And because pilates exercises are performed with precision and control, the risk of injury is greatly reduced too.
Re-Energise Your Life
The principle objective of pilates is to build abdominal, back and pelvic strength, resulting in body toning and improved posture.
Many medical experts believe that when the body is balanced with good posture and good core muscle support, the involuntary body functions such as breathing, digestion and bowel function also benefit.
Breathing techniques are also an important part of Pilates, helping the delivery of oxygen to the body as well as boosting your energy levels.
And because a pilates session will leave you feeling relaxed and energised, your mental wellbeing will improve alongside your physical wellbeing.
Pilates And Arthritis And Osteoporosis
Pilates is especially effective at relieving back pain, joint inflamation, swelling, arthritis, and tension throughout the body.
After a few sessions your range of movement will increase and you will notice a reduction in swelling and inflamation.
By improving your blood circulation, there are add on benefits such as an improvement in bone density - important not only for those already suffering from osteoporosis, but also for those wishing to avoid it.
And It's A Great Way To Make New Friends!
Pilates classes tailored towards all age groups are available the length and breadth of the UK - see the Pilates Directory for your nearest class.
You can then perform pilates as part of a group, a great way to make new friends.
The Final Word Goes To Joe Pilates Himself
Joseph Pilates died at the age of 87, but with the body of a much younger man. Up until his death he led a full and active life and was very proud of the pilates exercise programmes he had developed. Indeed, he never tired of recommending pilates to one and all.
"I must be right," he said in 1965. "Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier."
Why not make today the day you bring some of the happiness of pilates into your life?
Getting Started With Pilates
The best way to get started with pilates is to join a class and learn the basics from a qualified pilates teacher.
Pilates classes are held up and down the country, either in studios equipped with specialist exercise equipment or in village halls and sports centres where mat work often takes precedence. Our Pilates Studio And Class Directory will point you in the right direction.
There are also many DVDs and books available for you to practice pilates at home. The Pilates Shop stocks hundreds of pilates titles as well as equipment such as mats and balls.