We are living at an age when we have the opportunity to live longer than at any time in history. Lifespan has increased over the past 150 years. This gives us the chance to enjoy our lives longer, hence the need to ensure that we are fit and healthy enough to enjoy these additional years.
According to Age UK, physical activity is one of the most effective ways to make a positive difference in our health.Regular exercise can reduce our risk of serious health problems, including stroke, heart disease and some cancers. It may add years to our lives, but above all, it keeps us happy and helps us maintain our independence.
There are various kinds of physical activity that seniors can do to be fit and healthy, and one of them is Pilates.
Pilates is a safe exercise for individuals in their 50s, 60s and above. It’s a low impact form of exercise, as it does not have the impact on the body that other forms of exercise do,and is not nearly as severe on the joints as most workouts are.
Pilates is particularly good for seniors because it helps to alleviate the complications associated with aging.For instance, people with arthritis benefit from it because gentle mid-range movements decrease the risk of joint compression while maintaining the range of motion around them. For sufferers of osteoporosis, the simple and standing Pilates leg exercises may increase bone density in both the spine and the hip.
Pilates focuses on functional exercises that lengthens stiff joints, strengthens muscles, improves core fitness, balance, walking ability and overall functional abilities.
Many seniors who participate in my online Pilates exercise program report increased energy, decreased ache and pains, improved flexibility and balance, greater confidence while moving and an improved quality of life.
The changes experienced by people who do regular Pilates can include any of the following:
- Increased flexibility and strength of the spine
- Increased mobility in all major joints and management of joint conditions
- Improved posture
- Improved balance and associated reduced risk of falls
- Improved coordination
- Increased stamina and energy.
- Improved body awareness
- Improved bone strength
- More efficient breathing
- Stronger muscles – in particular the gluteals, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, upper arm, back and the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles
- Improved ability to carry out daily activities
- Help with maintaining independence
Pilate is both a mind and body conditioning, hence very good for improved sleep pattern and less stress.
Older adults who have health conditions that prevent them from participating in traditional mat-based Pilates exercises can still participate in sitting/standing Pilates exercises.
Below is a 10mins standing Pilates for Spine Mobility
I offer online sessions, and on demand workout for Older Adults. For more enquiries, send email to [email protected]
Pereira MJ, Mendes R, Mendes RS, Martins F, Gomes R, Gama J, Dias G, Castro MA. Benefits of Pilates in the Elderly Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Eur J Investig Health Psychol Educ. 2022 Feb 22;12(3):236-268. doi: 10.3390/ejihpe12030018. PMID: 35323204; PMCID: PMC8947639.
Lynne Robinson and Carmela Trappa. Pilates for Life