Age is not a significant factor in starting Pilates practice. If you are an older adult of sixty years and above and physically active, you are prepared to begin Pilates. However, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, it is ideal to consult your physician before engaging in any physical activity. Your doctor can provide you with the best suggestions and recommendations to optimise your overall exercise experience.
The biggest advantage of Pilates practice is to train your body to enhance strength flexibility even as you age. It is normal to feel the physical changes in your body as you grow older, and Pilates is the best way to develop your physique gradually. Aside from strength flexibility, senior Pilates improves your focus and concentration via deliberate movements, bodyweight exercises, and self-awareness training. The positive impact of regular Pilates exercises brings a whole new meaning to a healthy lifestyle. Please click here if you want to search for more ways that seniors could start an activity.
Senior Pilates: Advice for Older Adults
We want to impart some important words of advice before you begin with Pilates practice. Regular training at least two times a week is enough to notice a significant difference in your strength flexibility. You will also see improvement in your balance, stability, and coordination. Depending on how you feel and how your body reacts to Pilates practice, you can add another day to your training. However, if you feel discomfort and exhaustion, feel free to return to your original pace.
The Benefits of Senior Pilates
Pilates practise does wonders for people of all ages regardless of gender and fitness level. Specifically, for seniors, Pilates can provide a significant improvement physically and mentally. Not only does it improve their strength flexibility, but it also sharpens their focus and concentration. These abilities are beneficial for seniors to help them improve their overall well-being. Pilates’ most significant benefit for seniors is that all techniques are low-impact and gentle on the joints. The methods involved reduces the risks of overexertion, joint strain, and muscle fatigue. Senior Pilates have high benefits despite its nature.
Pilates Equipment for Seniors
Before we talk about the best practices recommended for seniors, let’s talk about the recommended equipment first. Not all Pilates equipment is suitable for seniors; that’s why it’s important to introduce the best equipment compatible with them. These pieces of Pilates equipment provide maximum safety for their physical capabilities.
- The Pilates Chair: The Pilates chair is a wooden box with handles. It has a foldable side with springs that can provide resistance. The Pilates chair is ideal for senior Pilates because of its balance and stability. Exercises that can be performed using the Pilates chair are safe and low-impact. It is also called a “Wunda chair”.
- The Pilates Mat: Pilates practice includes many exercises on the floor, and the Pilates mat is one of the most commonly used all over the world. The texture and thickness vary depending on the brand and the manufacturer’s design.
- The Theraband: The theraband is a type of resistance band specifically designed to be compatible with seniors or people with limited mobility. They are considerably longer than the regular resistance bands, and they are perfect for senior Pilates.
- The Handweights: Handweights are lighter and smaller than dumbbells and are ideal for senior Pilates. Exercises with hand weights enhance strength flexibility for seniors with a considerable reduction of muscle and joint stress.
- The Pilates Ring: The Pilates ring, better known as the “magic circles” is considered the ultimate Pilates equipment. They are compact, highly-versatile, and inexpensive. They can help seniors strengthen their core minus the strain.
- The Pilates Reformer: The Pilates reformer is great for seniors; however, it is recommended to use it with supervision. The exercises might slightly risk if unaided. The complex design and mechanisms may increase the risks of injury for seniors if misused. On the other hand, it is perfect for strength flexibility once you learn the proper way to use it.
- The Pilates Roller: This equipment is perfect for the back muscles and spine alignment. It plays a key role in improving balance and stability with reduced muscle tension. The exercises that can be performed with the Pilates roller improves strength flexibility effectively.
Precautionary Tips and Modifications
Seniors living with osteoporosis can benefit significantly with Pilates practice. However, mat exercises may be risky to these individuals. Luckily, physical activities can be modified to avoid injury and other adverse health effects. Your Pilates instructor can provide the best exercises to maximise your safety.
Arthritis makes physical activities difficult to perform and execute correctly. That’s why Pilates exercises for people living with this condition should start slow and focus on gradual progression. The key to successful training is to focus and concentration. Observe the limitations of your movements and focus more on your current range of motion. You will eventually improve your range of mobility with regular Pilates practice.
Injuries and Post Surgery Recovery
Pilates practice can also accelerate the recovery time from injury or surgery. However, the key is not to push your limitations. Modifications can be added to the usual workouts, which are based on your current ability. Always remember that Pilates practice is created to provide low-impact exercises with high benefits.
Employing the help of a Pilates instructor is ideal for beginners. However, because of today’s current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, going to fitness centres and commercial gyms may be restricted. The good news is, there are many instructional videos that you can follow online for free. You can take advantage of the tips and instructions without leaving your home. So, if you want to improve your overall range of movement while improving your strength flexibility, practice Pilates for seniors today and enjoy the health benefits.