Physical activity is beneficial for people of all ages. Even moderate exercise several times per week can improve heart health and help maintain strength in your bones and muscles.
For seniors, a regular exercise regimen offers even more benefits. Exercise classes can help you live independently for longer. You’ll be able to maintain strength, manage chronic ailments, and recover faster from any future surgeries.
Pilates is an excellent exercise option for seniors, whether you are currently active or just looking to get started. It’s a low-impact physical fitness system that uses body weight and specialized equipment to enhance your health. Regular Pilates classes can help you maintain or lose weight along with many other benefits.
Improve Stability and Balance
Falls are a serious concern for seniors. A recent CDC survey found that over 25% of adults aged 65 and older have at least one fall annually. Each fall has a one in five chance of causing serious injuries like a broken bone or a head injury. It can take a long time to recover from an injury, and some seniors may never live as independently as they did before the fall.
Taking Pilates classes for seniors can reduce your risk of falls. The exercises focus on strengthening the center of your body using small controlled motions. Once you are confident and comfortable with these small movements, you can move on to larger range exercises that strengthen the larger muscle groups.
Increased strength and flexibility in your core muscles and legs can help reduce the risk of falls by improving your balance and stability. With continued Pilates practice, you’ll gain better control of all your muscles and joints. You’ll be more likely to recover from a stumble to prevent a fall. If you have had a fall or a recent surgery, senior Pilates classes can help you recover your strength and balance.
Increase Strength and Flexibility
An unfortunate part of the aging process, you begin losing muscle mass at age 30 at the rate of 3-5% per decade. Fortunately, the muscle mass isn’t lost forever. With a dedicated exercise plan, seniors can regain lost muscle. This means seniors need to take action with their exercise plan to maintain strength and function in their bodies.
Pilates exercises work with your body weight to provide resistance. This resistance helps you build and maintain muscle mass. Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat or with the help of a machine called a reformer. In Reformer Pilates, the device aids you in completing Pilates exercises using the correct technique, helping you work your body in new and challenging ways.
However, seniors need to be careful when they are adding strength training to their fitness program. Health conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis can make certain moves dangerous or at a high risk of causing injury. Beginner Pilates classes designed for seniors can help you make sure you are performing safe movements for your body.
Natural aging has a negative effect on your posture. As the years go by, you may notice a rounding or compression of the spine. This can cause your head to jut forward and your back to stoop.
Pilates strengthens the muscles around your spine. The majority of Pilates exercises are done on your back or in a reclined position. This makes them easy on your joints while working to correct muscle imbalances you may have from the slow changes in your spine’s curvature.
Improved posture can help you feel more confident in your day-to-day life. You’ll stand up straighter and be able to walk with more confidence. Pilates exercises for seniors can improve your ability to focus on your spinal alignment and strengthen your back muscles so you can maintain good posture without feeling tired.
As a society, we are all leading a more sedentary lifestyle. The hours we spend in a chair or on a couch are negatively impacting mobility. When paired with the natural effects of aging or a chronic health condition, you may have noticed a loss of mobility over the years from constantly sitting.
The natural effects of aging can impact your mobility as well. Bone and muscle loss over time might cause restriction in your joints. This painful condition can limit your ability to use the full range of motion in your joints.
Restoring mobility is one of the key pilates benefits for seniors. The low-impact exercises make it easy to slowly increase mobility in all your major joints. You’ll focus on how your body feels and only expand movements when you are confident your body can handle them. Greater joint mobility is linked to performing more functional movements like lifting and reaching without the risk of injury.
Reformer Pilates for seniors may be a good choice for those looking to focus on mobility improvement. The reformer machine creates a more dynamic environment that can promote stretching and strengthening in ways that aren’t accessible when you are on a mat or in a chair. Careful guidance from your Pilates instructor can make sure that you perform each movement safely while gaining confidence in your ability to extend your joints fully.
Reconnect Your Breathing
Breath work is a crucial body connection and relaxation tool. It’s used in several exercise practices to deepen your workout. Pilates integrates breath work into every routine.
You’ll become more aware of your lung and diaphragm muscles after just a few pilates classes for seniors. You’ll improve your ability to breathe deeply and fully oxygenate your blood. Your respiratory system will work at peak efficiency to supply your organs with the oxygen they need to keep you feeling good.
Pilates breath work can be particularly beneficial if you have previously suffered a stroke. Asynchronous breathing often occurs after a stroke due to disrupted muscle control. Pilates helps stroke victims realign their breathing patterns and reestablish a connection with the diaphragm muscles.
Protect Against Disease
Regular exercise helps prevent chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. For older adults, vigorous aerobic activities could cause injuries, creating more harm than good. A low-impact exercise option that still raises your heart rate and builds strength is a better option for seniors.
Pilates is a great exercise program to start at any age. The exercises are modifiable to your needs, letting you get the intensity of workout you desire. It also offers flexibility to keep working out even if you have an injury. A skilled Pilates instructor can tailor your workout to strengthen other parts of your body while letting your injury heal. This helps you maintain fitness and experience fewer setbacks.
For seniors living with chronic disease, Pilates can help them slow the progression and maintain independence. Several studies have been done showing improvements in symptoms for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s patients. When combined with standard medical care and approved by their doctor, Pilates can help individuals living with chronic conditions improve their quality of life.
Try a Pilates Class Today
Experience all the benefits Pilates has to offer by trying a class today. Phitosophy is a friendly Pilates studio near Los Angeles for seniors offering reformer Pilates classes for new and experienced Pilates students.
You’ll experience a clean and safe studio with compassionate instructors dedicated to helping you sculpt your body and mind. Modifications to exercises are always offered to help you push yourself to your limit, not someone else’s. Hour-long classes are offered throughout the day, so you can find one that best fits into your schedule.