First let’s find out what are the health benefits of Pilates for Women.
Pilates is designed to increase the strength and flexibility of your core muscles.
The beauty of Pilates is that it can be done by just about anyone at any fitness level. It involves very little in the way of exercise equipment and can be done anywhere.
Pilates isn’t just for the young, athletic person as many people mistakenly think. Because it doesn’t put undue strain on the heart, it can safely be done by older people, including women well over the age of 50 years.
Done correctly, Pilates will improve the health of woman over 50 and it doesn’t take a heavy toll on your body like a number of other exercises can.
Why Pilates is Good for You
There are many good reasons why Pilates can be a great exercise for any woman over the age of 50.
6 benefits of Pilates for the over fifties to get you interested:
1. Pilates involves an invigorating mind-body workout.
Pilates places a heavy emphasis on using proper breathing techniques, aligning your spine correctly, and keeping your pelvis aligned. It involves concentrating on flowing, smooth movements that help you become more in tune to your mind and body. When you do Pilates, you learn to control your movements by practicing quality exercises that focus on the core.
There is a focus on breathing to the tune of your movements so you can use your power to efficiently move your body. By being a mind-body workout, Pilates teaches you how to breathe better, which can be great for women who are under a great deal of stress.
2. Pilates helps you develop strong core muscles.
Much of the focus in Pilates is the strengthening of the core muscles. Your core body is the central part of your body including both the abdominal muscles and the back muscles. See here why core stability and core strength is imperative for senior health and fitness.
I believe good core strength is most important for all of us as we age; it connects your upper and lower body, controls virtually every directional movement we make and without good core strength your posture and balance will suffer.
Pilates helps you strengthen these muscles so you can move with ease as you go about your day with complete control over these essential core muscles. Pilates can help you find integration between your pelvis, trunk, and shoulder muscles so they function as a strong and complete unit.
3. Pilates helps increase flexibility and allows your muscles to lengthen.
Many workouts, such as weight lifting or using weight machines tend to lead to muscles that are more bulky and shorter in length. These types of muscles are more likely to be injured and aren’t the kind of muscles you want to have as you age.
Instead of bulky “body-building muscles”, Pilates helps you elongate your muscles, strengthening them at the same time. Your muscles will become more elastic and you will have increased flexibility of your joints, tendons and ligaments. When you achieve these kinds of muscles, you are less likely to become injured and you will have more flexibility.
4. Pilates can help you prevent muscle injuries and improve your performance in other sports.
Many gym type programs work the same muscles over and over again, such as the biceps or quadriceps muscles. Sometimes these muscles are exercised to the exclusion of other muscles. If you don’t have the right program you can easily over-strengthen certain muscles, while other muscles are under-strengthened.
In Pilates, all the core muscles are strengthened at the same time so you have a decreased chance of becoming injured while working out or by doing your ordinary activities of daily living.
5. Pilates conditions the entire body.
In doing Pilates, you strengthen not only your core muscles but also strengthen the muscles of your extremities. Pilates doesn’t emphasize one set of muscles to the exclusion of others. The other important factor is, Pilates is a low impact form of exercise which is very important for joint integrity as we get older.
6. Pilates helps you move with greater efficiency.
When you do Pilates, you train many different muscles at the same time. Pilates involves doing smooth and continuous motions so you can train your body to move with more safety, decreasing your risk of falls and the fractures.
So you can see, Pilates is an anti-ageing exercise activity with many benefits for all women over 50.
If you are interested in doing Pilates as a form of exercise to increase your flexibility, strength and longevity, why not take a Pilates class or buy The Women’s Health Big Book of Pilates which will teach you how to do the exercises safely, with proper form and in the comfort of your own home. You can practice Pilates every day either at home or in a studio with a low risk of suffering from any kind of overuse injury to your muscles so why not give it a try.
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach.
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