Regular exercise can have an enormous impact on our health and well-being. But with age, we tend to lose our balance, flexibility, and endurance. And living with limited mobility, it can be particularly difficult for senior citizens to find an appropriate exercise regimen. It’s led many to ask, is Pilates good for seniors?
Reasons Seniors Might Choose Pilates
Pilates is actually quite accessible to people of all ages. That’s because it provides plenty of beginner-level exercises, and many of its more popular and advanced programs can be adapted to an older audience. Pilates exercises for seniors are typically low-impact exercises that do not compress joints and are designed to help a person maintain a greater range of motion.
Though having guidance isn’t necessary, it’s often useful to follow a Pilates instructor while getting started. A good instructor can show you precisely how each motion should be performed, minimizing the chance of injury. They also monitor levels of exertion, which may optimize the benefits of Pilates.
Benefits for Seniors
Pilates offers a number of benefits for seniors. Research has linked Pilates to improved flexibility and injury prevention. Research also shows Pilates can provide significant improvements in walking speed and can reduce the risk of suffering from a fall.
Because Pilates exercises target your entire torso, regular practice can help improve posture, flexibility, strength, and balance. Consequently, Pilates has been shown to help reduce chronic lower back pain. Pilates can be effective at helping prevent osteoporosis and even slowing the progression of diseases like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.
Opportunities to Socialize
Simplicity is one of the things that draws people of all ages to Pilates. Many of the exercises can be done from the comfort of a mat or chair, and many Pilates exercises for seniors can be made accessible to those with limited mobility. Within Pilates studios nationwide, mat Pilates for seniors and chair Pilates exercises for seniors are both exceptionally common.
You can even practice Pilates at home. But it can also be a chance for seniors to socialize and meet new people. The widespread popularity of Pilates means it’s generally not difficult to find senior-specific Pilates classes at local Pilates studios or community centers.
Is Pilates good for seniors? It has a variety of exercises that are adaptable to seniors. It also has a variety of benefits for seniors who practice it. But no single exercise regimen is right for everyone. Exercising is good, but what makes it count is consistency. It’s much easier to be consistent when you enjoy the exercise to some extent, even if only as a chance to socialize.
Seniors who try Pilates will find it approachable. Whether or not they find it enjoyable is another question. If they do, they can also enjoy all the benefits that come with regular practice. But if they don’t, there are always alternative exercises worth consideration.