Exercise is a necessary component of physical and mental wellness for everyone, but it becomes even more important for seniors. Recovering from an injury or living with a chronic condition can be more difficult at an older age and may lead to increased inactivity. This can result in the loss of strength, mobility and vitality, which is why Pilates classes for seniors can be an excellent choice for the aging body.
Originated by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, Pilates focuses on developing core strength, increasing flexibility, improving balance, improving agility, and improving posture.
Whether you already have an established exercise regimen or are looking for a first-time Pilates class, this beneficial exercise can help you reach your movement goals better. Many seniors who participate in a Pilates exercise program report increased energy, decreased aches and pains, greater confidence while moving and improved quality of life.
Benefits of Senior Pilates Classes
Pilates is gentle. Pilates classes can offer the benefits of other exercise programs without the injury risks. Much of Pilates is low impact and performed in non-weight-bearing positions, which is especially beneficial for aging joints. The specialized equipment also supports and guides the body safely through movement.
Pilates is adaptable. A senior Pilates class is not one-size-fits-all. Programs can be designed for the individual. Each exercise is highly modifiable and can be adjusted to address the needs of people with musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis. Pilates classes for seniors can be integrated with a rehabilitation program or serve as a supportive cross-training program for a favorite sport or exercise regimen.
Pilates develops strength and endurance. Pilates exercises focus on controlled motions that use body weight to develop strength, stamina, and endurance. Quality of movement, not quantity of repetitions, is the desired outcome. The spring resistance of the specialized equipment can challenge muscles while supporting joints. Pilates exercises can teach you how to activate and coordinate several muscle groups at once, increasing muscle efficiency and endurance.
Pilates improves mobility. A sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to overall health and well-being. One of the principles of Pilates is ease of motion. The exercises are designed to improve joint range of motion. As you become stronger and more proficient in moving with control, you will be able to sustain your mobility.
Pilates increases body awareness. A first-time Pilates class will place emphasis on posture, balance, and breathing which are all fundamentals of Pilates. A focus on form and alignment helps to improve coordination and stability in a senior pilates class. Thinking about how to move is vital to help you improve functional movement, balance, and posture and help prevent falls.
Getting Started with Pilates Classes for Seniors
It’s important to find a Pilates studio experienced in working with seniors and their specific needs and remember to consult your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program.
If you’re ready to experience all of the benefits Pilates has to offer, Five Starr Pilates & Fitness is the perfect place to start!