Pilates and older adults – a gentler, effective way to stay fit

Physio Pilates ProactivePilates

For the older population keeping fit is essential. But so many forms of exercise can be hard on the bodies of older adults. Many have turned to Pilates as a way to stay in shape while reducing the risk of injury that weight-bearing exercises may cause. With its focus on controlled breathing and quality of movement – not quantity of repetitions – many experts agree that Pilates is one of the best ways for older adults to stay healthy.

Low Impact

Pilates is perfect for older adults because it does not have the impact on the body that other forms of exercise do, and is not nearly as severe on the joints as most workouts are. It really is a gentle but very effective way to exercise and if you haven’t been active in a while, Pilates is a safe way to start a regular exercise program.

Increased Stability and Balance

To the benefit of older adults, Pilates teaches control and stability in a small range of motion, graduating to a larger range of motion as clients gain control and confidence.

Increased control and stability is crucial for older adults as it can help them improve much of their functional movement, including balance and posture. As people get older, they can lose some of their balance and coordination. Pilates increases strength and flexibility in both the core and the legs, which positively affects balance. This, along with basic fitness benefits, can help them reduce the risk of falls.

An Antidote for Many Ailments

Pilates can help with a variety of age-related ailments. Sufferers of Arthritis can benefit because the gentle mid-range movements decrease the chance of joints compressing while maintaining the range of motion around them.

Pilates can also aid in the prevention and treatment of Osteoporosis and is a good way for older adults to rehabilitate from surgical procedures like a hip replacement or knee surgery.

Pilates has been documented to slow or reverse the effects of debilitating diseases like Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis. The mid-range motion of the exercises can help people overcome rigidity and become more limber. Pilates can even help with brain traumas like a stroke.

Research from the University of Sydney on the benefits of strength training for older people states that it causes increased muscle mass and bone density, improves mobility and has a positive effect on memory and mood.

Enjoy getting fit

Joining a group Pilates class is an enjoyable way to improve your health and fitness. We offer over 70 classes per week at our two locations, which cater to all fitness levels. Classes can be claimed on Private Extras Health Cover and we offer discounts to concession card holders.

If you are interested in starting Pilates please book in for a Pilates Fitness Assessment with one our experienced Physiotherapists.