Irrespective of your age, fitness level, body composition, and skill, joining a Pilates session or performing Pilates regularly at home is a life-changing habit that will change your life for the better.
Especially when it comes to seniors, Pilates does indeed have some curative and preventative benefits they can harness and which will help them live a better life, both physically and mentally.
Continue reading to find out more about the 7 great benefits of Pilates for seniors which will make you realize that, when it comes to exercise, age is just a number!
Why Is Pilates Important For Seniors?
Our bodies change dramatically throughout our life. It’s no surprise that as we get older, our body needs more attention, and the natural restoration operation of our cells slows.
For many people, the most noticeable signs of aging are an increase in weakness, a lack of mobility, as well as difficulties in balancing and stability.
Such things can harm our day-to-day activities over time as we might, for example, be constantly afraid that we will fall down the stairs.
While this might seem like a brief thought that can come and go, it eventually results in a lack of independence and a decrease in our overall sense of life and wellbeing.
The good thing is that a reliable and intentional workout routine can lessen or improve common aging manifestations.
A great example of such an exercise is Pilates, a great low-impact method exercise that works on our entire body and helps with aligning and strengthening our body.
What Are The Benefits Of Pilates For Seniors?
Various studies have repeatedly proven that Pilates training provides a wide array of benefits at different points in life, and anyone who performs Pilates has a greater quality of life.
Certainly, though, you must always seek medical advice, and this includes the time when you decide to embark on a new workout routine.
Moreover, when you have any existing medical issues, it’s essential to try Pilates under the guidance of a certified teacher, either alone or in a class destined for people who are experiencing similar issues.
When it comes to aging well, trying to find a class for seniors or with a certified teacher could help you in progressing faster, become more efficient in your workouts, and take full advantage of the many benefits Pilates has to offer us.
1. Improves Bone Density
Pilates has been shown in research to enhance bone mass and density, particularly in postmenopausal women.
What is the significance of this? Poor bone density indicates that your joints may tear, and your bones might break way easier than they would otherwise.
Even when you are standing or walking in your day-to-day life, they could just hurt.
Keeping bone health as we get older is critical for preventing osteopenia and osteoporosis. When your priority is to preserve your bone density, start by doing Pilates on the apparatus.
In contrast to Pilates mat work, Reformer workouts utilize spring resistance as “barbells.” This form of Pilates is likely to be more beneficial to bone density than just some mat work.
2. Improves Our Body Posture
How often are we hearing about a story of someone getting smaller in size as they age? Or of another person who began gradually slouching forward after the age of 65?
Imbalance and bad posture can be related to bone mass loss as well as bad habits.
However, as you get older, the above factors add to joint and organ deformation, as well as stiff and misaligned muscle groups that almost always cause discomfort.
Pilates emphasizes body alignment and balance, intending to promote ease and range of motion through our joints.
Improved posture is often the result of several muscle strength and flexibility movements that are included in a Pilates session, which also helps us develop greater body awareness and an understanding of how our body parts align with one another.
3. Increases Balance And Our Way Of Walking
Walking requires a high level of postural control and mobility.
As we age, losing our muscle strength and our mobility, combined with bad posture, can create a ripple effect that begins with an unwillingness to walk and start moving around more and frequently progresses to a fear of falling.
Furthermore, as people get older, their gait patterns frequently change. Many people’s ankle’s ranges of motion worsen, and their feet end up being swollen and stiff, causing them to drag or shuffle.
Pilates improves both our ability to stabilize ourselves as we walk but also our way of walking itself thanks to its exercises that focus not only on strengthening and stretching the muscles but also on teaching us how to control our body and keep it balanced at all times.
4. Increases Mobility
We’ve mentioned mobility in our previous paragraphs, but we did not quite explain what it is for those who might not know.
Well, to put it simply, strong and flexible muscles allow for a full and controlled range of motion that is referred to as mobility.
Strength alone can cause tightness, and stiffness, and lead to injuries, whereas flexibility on its own means leaving a senior’s body frail and with no support, and with an equal risk of injury.
According to research, Pilates’ gentle and conscious movement, as well as the slow change in and out of a specific exercise, are an ideal formula for building strength and support while enhancing joint mobility.
And, as you can imagine, this promotes greater mobility for our daily tasks, such as cleaning the house, as well as any recreational activities we take part in.
5. Helps To Reduce Stress And Boost Our Mood
Pilates is a mindful form of exercise that combines breath with motion.
The objective is to focus on our inner soul and strength and breathe in and out slowly, something that relaxes our nervous system and increases our self-awareness.
Pilates is a form of exercise that combines breath with motion and stimulates both our body and our mind.
The objective is to focus on our inner soul and strength and breathe in and out slowly, something that relaxes our nervous system and increases self-awareness.
It has been shown in studies that Pilates improves our mood and reduces our anxiety and symptoms of depression.
In addition, another study found that Pilates, when studied next to other types of exercise, provided the most psycho-social benefits to seniors.
6. It Helps Improve Our Cognitive Function And Memory
It is no longer acceptable to blame age for cognitive decline and memory lapses.
According to research, activities like Pilates increase the circulation of blood to the brain, which aids in the creation of new neurons responsible for cognition, memory, and learning.
7. Reduces Back Pain
Pilates is well-known for its emphasis on the core, which includes muscles other than the abs.
The muscles of the back, hips, thighs and pelvic floor make up the core. It functions as a flexible brace that protects, lifts, and continues to support the organs and spine.
As a result, having a strong core means that you have great support for your back.
The Bottom Line
Starting Pilates from an early age is great, but even if you are older or a senior, it is never too late to seek a Pilates instructor that can help you with your Pilates sessions.
As you can tell, its benefits are life-changing, so why not try to start today?