Everyone knows about pilates and most know that it’s a great form of exercise for people across a wide age group. Here are 5 reasons why it is a great form of exercise for women above 40.
We all see how flexible young children are and most of us have probably started to see that we aren’t as flexible as we once were. There are a number of reasons for this, some we can’t do much about like the tissue and muscle changes that happen with age but there are some we can like our posture, our habits and exercise.
Pilates has a huge focus on flexibility with control which is more than just sitting and stretching your legs a few times a day. It’s about developing flexibility that you can actually use and maintain.
Improved muscle tone and strength without high impact
Strength is something that tends to increase as we grow up, plateau around our 30s and then start a rapid decline after 40 or so. Although there are physical changes in our body that cause this, we can do a lot to slow down the decline and reverse it. Pilates is one way of strengthening and our opinion one of the big benefits is that it can be developed without doing high impact exercises that can accelerate degeneration in your joints.
Improved stabilisation of the spine
Back pain is the number one issue we see at our clinics and the older the age the more preventable the back issue. This because a lot of lower back problems develop in our later use as a result of years of poor posture, lack of exercise, bad habits, injuries and poor management of those pain episodes. A big factor in spine health is maintaining the activity and strength of the muscles that control your lower back and abdominals.
Modern pilates and in particular clinical pilates is specifically developed to target and work the muscles that stabilise and control the spine.
Anyone that has done a pilates class has no doubt hear the instructor talk about how important the breathing is while they exercise. Pilates helps our breathing in a number of ways.
1.Improved lung capacity so we can get more air in and out of our lungs
2.Improved circulation that comes with deep breathing
3.Improved function of the diaphragm which is our main breathing muscle
4.Improved control of our breathing patterns, in particular when we are performing physical activity. This makes us more efficient and promotes better function of our rib cage and all the muscles around it.
Improved coordination and balance
Coordination and balance tends to reduce gradually with age and the risk of falling is a major issue for all of us in our later years. How well we are able to maintain balance and coordination can go a long way to reducing the risk of falls.
Pilates exercises emphasises the use and control of the small muscles in our body around our joints that help us maintain balance and control fine movement. Pilates also helps improve the function of our nervous system through control of our breathing and developing good movement patterns.
So if you have considered whether pilates is useful then consider some of the above factors that make pilates a great form of exercise.
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