fbpx

 

Ageing is an inevitable part of life. But how many of us are ageing actively? By this I mean, how many of us remain active, or even increase our activity levels as we age?

Our body’s tissues, of which muscles can be the most noticeable to us, change and loose tone and strength as we age. This is usually due to lack of movement.

We live in a society where we are not required to move much at all, so we get into a habit of not moving, and adopt a sedentary lifestyle. We believe that a decline in movement is related to ageing. However, many of us have spent our adult lives not moving, and we rarely consider the transformative effects activity and movement can have on our life, including ageing.

Much research has been done on the protective effects exercise has on our health. It’s clear that our bodies need to move, and as we get older, we shouldn’t be thinking of doing less, but actually doing more to stay active.

Movement not only protects the joints and keeps the muscles strong, it also helps your energy levels, has protective cognitive benefits, and helps with overall mental health and wellbeing. Staying supple and maintaining our flexibility means we can move easier without overstretching and ‘pulling’ any muscles. Balance is another area. Often forgotten about, balance is key to help preventing falls. Balancing exercises strengthen the muscles in the feet, ankles and lower legs, making us more stable when walking.

Exercise doesn’t need to be hard work, and we certainly don’t need to go out and start running marathons. A regular walk every day is a good place to start.

It doesn’t matter what you do. Find a way to keep moving and age actively.

 

 

 

 

 

Doing your Pilates workout in a standing position offers a greater variety of exercises, but it’s also a great alternative for anyone who feels they are unable to easily get to the mat.

Improved Balance

As we get a little older, we usually find that our balance isn’t as good as it used to be. Pilates in standing can incorporate different levels of balance exercises to your routine, depending how stable you feel when standing on when leg. You can start with holding on to a chair for support, and gradually progress until you can stand on one leg and move your arms at the same time!

Bone Health

For me, one of the greatest benefits to exercise in standing, is the weight-bearing created through the legs and hips. This in turn helps increase the bone-building potential for anyone looking to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Both balance and weight-bearing exercises are always beneficial for anyone who already has osteoporosis. It helps by delaying the progression and maintaining the strength of the bones, and helping to prevent falls from practising balancing exercises regularly.

Standing also gives us the opportunity to add a little more cardiovascular work so we can help to keep our heart healthy, without creating too much stress through the joints.

There are lots of props we can use in standing, such as weights, resistance bands and balance pads, all adding greater variety to our workouts.

Don’t be put off because you think Pilates is all done on the mat. There are lots of ways you can do your Pilates work out in standing.

As far as I’m concerned, Pilates is the best type of exercise you can do. It’s great for everyone, regardless of your age or fitness level, there is always something suitable for you.

Pilates is a mat based practice that teaches you how to use your stabilising muscles (the core) to control movement through the arms and legs. It can be a great full body workout, as it helps to build stability and strength throughout the body.

It’s a form of exercise that’s suitable for everyone, including seniors, helping to change the way you look, feel and move. It is not a”quick- fix” and you do need to persevere, but the results will be worth it in helping to improve strength, flexibility and decreasing stress.

Your power and strength come from your ‘core’ or ‘centre’, working the deep abdominal muscles to allow following movements while exercising. Pilates focuses on improving your posture, so when you finish a workout, you’ll feel like you’re standing up taller, and overtime the strength in the postural muscles will improve making it feel easier to stand up tall and help reduce any muscular discomfort.

Pilates is excellent for the rehabilitation of injuries and can help relieve pain and muscular discomfort. Pilates works all muscle groups in your body, teaching you to focus, gaining better awareness of your body and release any muscular tension.

Pilates encourages you to perform movements in a flowing and controlled way which co-ordinates mind, body and breathing. Quality of movement is vital, re-learning correct movement patterns and postures, improving balance, mobility and co-ordination.