Friday, November 20, 2009

Age Gracefully

Recently I have noticed an increase in elderly clients utilizing Pilates as a way to age more gracefully. No matter their age I have worked with clients who have arthritis, osteoporosis or herniated discs. Pilates has proved both to me and the individual that quality of life can improve in as little as a few sessions. Once you learn to work in proper alignment and engage posture muscles, pain will decrease, allowing your body to move more efficiently.

Pilates benefits older clients in several ways:
  • Low impact
  • Fully body workout
  • Helps lubricate stiff joints
  • Safe for beginners
  • Keeps mind sharp with variety of exercises and coordination
  • All exercises can be modified if necessary
  • Control/stability necessary for balance
  • Prevent slouching with strong core muscles for posture
  • Good for rehab from surgeries
  • Can increase bone density with use of spring based resistance
Even just learning the basics of breathing a scooping are important. These two principles can be taken outside of the studio and practiced throughout the day such as while sitting in the car, watching television or even waiting in line at the store. Pilates promotes independence as clients age. They will notice that aches and pains are less than before and they stand taller. Exercises such as coccyx curls, shoulder mobilization and hip escalator are wonderful additions clients can add to their at home workout routines. Even practicing scooping helps to improve your pelvic floor muscles (working much like a kegal) to aid in preventing frequent urination.

Be sure to seek a well certified instructor at a Pilates studio instead of a DVD or gym atmosphere if available. This will allow you to get one-on-one attention to ensure the exercises are appropriate for your ability to prevent injury. Some places do offer mat or equipment classes with a more gentle or beginner approach for the elderly so be sure to inquire. Even if you just start out by going once a week you will see improvements in your range of motion and flexibility. Overall, Pilates will teach you to move with ease and remain youthful, no matter your age.

No comments:

Post a Comment