The practice of Pilates, an exercise method that focuses on flexibility and control of one’s body, is a great form of exercise for people of all ages. One of the main reasons why Pilates is so popular is because it’s a form of exercise that appeals to all ages. Pilates helps stretch and strengthen muscles that age takes away from us, making it something everyone can do no matter how old they are. Yes, this means you! Whether you’re a young adult or an older individual, Pilates is something everyone can enjoy.
Let’s dive into why pilates is the perfect workout for any age!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
Not only does Pilates produce better posture and stronger abdominals, as well as help relieve back pain, but it also helps to keep people flexible with age; additionally, the strengthening of a person’s core muscles can offer protection against injury. The Pilates method is considered more effective than yoga or strength training for developing body awareness that aids in injury prevention and coordination.
Pilates offers a wide variety of exercises that can be performed by all ages. There are also modifications to the original method for different age groups. The following is an overview of Pilates’ benefits and how it can start you on your way to wellness.
Training can range from very easygoing all the way up to full intensity training that can help you build strength and flexibility.
What is Pilates
The Pilates method was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. The practice of Pilates is unique in that it combines many different techniques and types of exercise into one program. As mentioned previously, the emphasis of this type of training is on flexibility, control and body awareness while strengthening muscles without adding bulk. Many exercises can be done either on the floor or from a standing position.
The exercises are usually low impact with little or no swinging of the arms and legs; therefore, it is beneficial to those with joint problems and ailments such as arthritis.
In addition to training like an athlete and toning muscles, Pilates offers greater flexibility to the body and mind, more energy, better posture and improved balance. The control of breathing offered by Pilates helps reduce stress and relaxes both the mind and body. All in all, Pilates is a great way to lead a healthier lifestyle without having to expend a lot of time and energy.
The exercises can be modified for all ages starting as young as age 5 or 6 with modifications such as using more support from the floor or wall in certain exercises. Advantages of training at home with this method are that it is less expensive than a gym membership, offers more flexibility and can provide a higher intensity workout if desired.
But remember that the purpose of Pilates is not to bulk up muscles with heavier weights; rather, it strengthens muscles to help them work together efficiently. If your purpose is to build muscle mass, you should probably choose another form of exercise.
Who should do Pilates
Pilates benefits people of all ages, no matter what the starting point is or how out-of-shape a person may be. It’s very easy to do and can work with people who have back problems, are rehabilitating after an accident or surgery and those with arthritis. Even if you don’t currently exercise, Pilates will get you in shape for other sports and activities. If you’re a runner, ballet dancer or cyclist, Pilates will help keep your body limber and flexible to avoid injury. Body awareness is important for good posture, coordination of movements and overall well-being.
For pregnant women, doing Pilates can help maintain flexibility during pregnancy while toning the abdominal and pelvic area, providing a comfortable transition back to the non-pregnant body.
Pilates is recommended for people of all ages who want a good workout without hurting themselves or bulking up their muscles with heavy weight lifting. The exercises are easy to learn and allow you to control the resistance to make it appropriate for your fitness level. The exercises are also low impact on joints, making it beneficial to people with ailments in the bones and cartilage.
Pilates can be done at home or in a studio and offers a wide range of exercise equipment from simple floor mats and springboards to Cadillac-like machines such as Reformer apparatuses. These machines offer several different types of movement including single limb exercises, double and triple limb exercises, leg work that can be done independently or in conjunction with upper body movements, and back control. There are also less expensive home exercise devices on the market such as DVDs and books to follow.
How does it work
The main focus of Pilates is to strengthen muscles without bulking them up with excessive weights. The exercises also work to tone the body, improve flexibility and balance, and aid in weight loss and toning. The goal is not exercise but controlled exercise that tones the body in a way similar to a dancer’s training program. To see immediate results, try doing 20 minutes of Pilates three times per week.
The exercises require minimal equipment and all muscle groups can be engaged at the same time within a small area to isolate certain muscle groups. This is in contrast to weight lifting or cardio training where you move large muscles and joints over a greater range. Exercises are also linked together so that when one muscle group is engaged, the opposite muscle group is relaxed. This technique helps create a balance in the body so that no one area of muscles dominates over another and allows your posture to be improved as well as increasing strength of smaller stabilizing muscles such as those located in the abdominals (abs).
The exercises are designed in a specific way so that the spine and neck are protected by maintaining correct posture while focusing on control over speed and range of motion. Proper breathing techniques are also incorporated to work the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, which is one way Pilates differs from weight lifting exercises that focus on controlled speed of movement rather than breath.
How do you start a routine with Pilates
Pilates is a great way to maintain or get started with regular exercise. It’s simple and requires no special equipment, although a mat for floor exercises is a good idea if you don’t have carpeting to cushion your knees when doing leg exercises. Beginners can easily get started at home by utilizing DVD workouts that are created just for you!
Pilates is a low impact exercise that can be done by most people to improve balance, strength and flexibility. It may even help correct posture by strengthening the weak abdominal muscles that support your lower back and strengthen chest and shoulder muscles to provide better alignment of the upper body with the lower body. Pilates has been recommended as an exercise for senior citizens because its low impact on joints is beneficial to older adults, but it can also be easily adapted for younger individuals with an interest in maximum toning.
Pilates helps you lose weight and tone the muscles while keeping your body flexible. The long held postures involved in Pilates increase endurance so that you don’t get fatigued while exercising. Better balance and coordination in your movements also helps make you less prone to injury during normal day-to-day activities.
Get started with the right equipment at home
It is so easy to get started. I prefer to workout at home. My very first pilates workout set I purchased was Mari Winsor Pilates! Another great DVD I use is the Crunch – Pick Your Spot Pilates. My favorite pilates instructor is Denise Austin. I like her Hit The Spot Pilates.
I have recently started doing standing pilates only. Due to vertigo, I want to avoid triggering any dizziness, so I am doing workouts that work for me.
Before starting any type of exercise routine it is helpful to consult your doctor to ensure you are healthy enough for this type of workout. Your physician may recommend an exercise test or refer you to a certified trainer for a physical evaluation.
The list of benefits for Pilates is long and the results are amazing. From improved balance, increased muscle strength, decreased risk of injury to a slimmer waistline, there’s no wonder why so many people have jumped on board with this trend in recent years. So if you’re looking for a workout that will leave you feeling energized but also accomplished as well as toned (literally), then it’s time to schedule your first class!