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Staying young with pilatesCreated by Charlotte in Being You, Health and fitness
“If, at the age of 30, you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If, at 60, you are supple and strong, then you are young.” - Joseph Pilates
Joseph Pilates is the man we have to thank for the exercise phenomenon that has taken the world by storm and which so many of us continue to enjoy today, over 90 years after it was developed.
Due to a sickly childhood, Joseph had a lifelong determination to improve his physical health, which he achieved and he continued to teach and practice ‘contrology’ as it was originally called until he was 83.
Pilates is an holistic exercise system which everyone can take part in regardless of your age or ability level and with commitment and regular practice Pilates elongates, strengthens and restores the body to balance; much more than just building a ‘strong core’ or ‘perfect posture’. A good Pilates workout involves movement throughout the whole body leaving you feeling energised and focused. Whatever your ability level Pilates is so versatile that exercises can be modified to suit you, by carefully applying the underlying principles of breathing, alignment, centre, concentration, flowing movement and muscle & mind control.
Regular Pilates has countless benefits particularly if you are 50 or over:
- it can help prevent osteoporosis, the brittle-bone disease
- it strengthens the Pelvic Floor muscles (vital for holding the pelvic organs within the pelvis).
- it lubricates and nourishes joints, keeping them healthy and mobile;
- it can reduce and prevent low back pain, tense shoulders and common ailments such as sciatica;
- it retrains your muscles to work for you in the correct way which will help in everyday life e.g. pushing buggies, gardening, carrying shopping and even driving;
- it has rehabilitation qualities for many specialised conditions including: Disc Issues, Hip & Knee Replacements, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s etc
Here is what a few of my 50+ clients think of Pilates:
“I’ve had chronic neck and back pain since a car accident several years ago and have only recently started Pilates. Its the only exercise that is gentle and controlled enough to ensure my injuries aren’t aggravated. Pilates has opened my eyes to how regular Pilates helps keep me and my whole body strong, relaxed and pain free” – Judith (65 years)
“My one to one Pilates sessions have improved my shoulder pain a great deal and has also helped my understanding of Pilates so in larger classes I am more confident” – Paula (50 years)
“I suffered from painful sciatica for several years which made everyday activities difficult and sometimes impossible. My GP recommended Pilates and after a few weeks I could definitely feel the benefits and I no longer get any pain” – Sheila (74 years)
Finding a class near you
Anyone can do Pilates, you don’t need to be fit or flexible and it’s never too late to start, so give it a go, you’ll feel great and probably a few inches taller! If you have any ongoing conditions, advise your GP/Consultant before attending a class.
It’s important to find a fully qualified Pilates teacher and the Pilates Foundation is the best place to start:
The Pilates Foundation is the only not for profit organisation which aims to establish and maintain quality and excellence in Pilates teaching. Try a few classes until you find the right teacher for you, as we all have different styles.
If you live in the Poole and Bournemouth area, you’re welcome to come along to one of my classes and as a Grannynet member you will receive your first class free and a further 10% off when you book your first block of six classes. If there isn’t currently a class time to suit you, please let me know when you would like a class and when enough people ask I will aim to launch a new one.
by Kerry Adams, Pilates Matwork Teacher