November 11, 2014
How can Pilates help as you age?
With age, bodily functions change. There is typically a decrease in muscle mass and the nervous system and muscular systems function less optimally. The heart rate can decline with age along with the ability to take in and use oxygen.
These changes, along with hormonal changes, can lead to a reduction in metabolism, the degree at which the resting body uses fat and other sources to make fuel. Body fat can increase.
Pilates is a safe fitness practice that can help counter many of the negative effects of aging. By improving the body’s function, Pilates helps you maintain a good quality of life and the ability to perform daily activities.
This is accomplished by improvements in the following areas:
- Flexibility: Pilates promotes flexibility and increases range of motion. This helps reduce injury from shortened, overly tight muscles. Pilates sessions incorporate safe stretching combined with resistance work.
- Strength and Tone: Pilates improves muscular strength and tone without increasing bulk. Practicing Pilates leads to long, lean, and strong muscles. Strong muscles help the body avoid injury and help you continue to perform everyday tasks like lifting and carrying objects, vacuuming, and getting up from a seated position.
- Function of Joints: Strength and flexibility with Pilates are paired with joint alignment to better the overall function of the body. This helps function and fitness and helps you stay younger feeling and more active for a longer period of time. Functional joints with strong, supple muscles helps decrease the chance for injury due to overuse and accidents.
- Body Awareness: Pilates helps you relax, be present and be mindful. Being aware of how you move and where the joints and limbs are in space offers benefits in improved coordination and balance.
At Pilates Northwest, we call our seniors “The Over-60 Crowd”. They are dedicated, strong and young for their age. They move well – better than when they started – and feel rejuvenation after their sessions.