Living a vibrant, active life at any age is vitally important for one's happiness. Physical fitness is an important part of developing or maintaining a healthy lifestyle; combating pain, injury, and disease; and fighting the aging process. For many older, active adults, Pilates is an integral part of the mind-body wellness that makes life enjoyable well into the retirement years.
Pilates for seniors offers many benefits. Perhaps most importantly, Pilates builds strength and flexibility without straining or jarring the joints. Joint health is often particularly important in older adults, as stiffening joints and arthritis are often associated with advancing years. Pilates is gentle, yet effective, and its exercises can easily be modified to accommodate most conditions and fitness levels. In fact, weight bearing exercises, including certain Pilates exercises, are often recommended for building bone strength and keeping osteoporosis at bay. For those individuals who are already suffering from osteoporosis, Pilates is still a viable exercise option if practiced with a qualified instructor who understands the modifications necessary for preventing injuries.
Not only does Pilates improve strength and flexibility, it can also improve balance, a major concern for seniors who may be more susceptible to falls. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one out of every three Americans aged 65 or older suffers a fall each year; these falls account for 87% of all fractures in adults aged 65-84, and they are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury in older adults. Fortunately, studies show that those who perform physical activity to improve their balance can reduce their risk of falling by up to 45%.
For many older adults, the greatest benefit of Pilates is the tremendous positive effect it has on their overall well-being. Being physically fit increases energy, boosts stamina, and allows people to engage in the activities they enjoy. Shirley, a client at The Pilates Edge in Oklahoma City (pictured above, with her husband, Mark) agrees. She began practicing Pilates at the encouragement of her husband. She says of her experience:
When Mark first suggested taking Pilates, I was a little dubious. What was Pilates? How could an hour once or twice a week be important? Would I really like it? Well, after two years, those questions have been answered! The two hours we spend weekly working on our strength, balance and core are truly invaluable. Pilates has definitely helped improve our endurance, strength, and flexibility. My posture is better (I've worked on that since I was a teenager); Mark's back issues (chronic for years) have almost disappeared. And we're both playing better golf! Honestly, finding Pilates now at ages 68 and 70 has been wonderful--wish we would have found it earlier!
Shirley and Mark have not only found an exercise program that has improved their physical fitness and reduced chronic pain, but they found an activity they enjoy doing together. When couples work out together, it can positively impact their relationship. This active couple works out together at The Pilates Edge, giving them the strength, flexibility, balance, and energy to enjoy other recreational activities together as well.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of Pilates for seniors, contact The Pilates Edge in Oklahoma City at 405-463-3388. One of our highly-trained and certified Pilates instructors will be happy to assist you.
Mon, July 16, 2012
by Rene Craig