What I like about Pilates is that anyone can do it. People who are active and fit will find the added focus on their core provides benefits that other workouts may not specifically address. For those who do have physical challenges associated with aging or diminished activity, the benefits can be profound.
By adding Pilates, instead of giving up physical activities as you mature, you can take on new challenges because your body is up to the task. In Pilates there's little bouncing, jarring, or stress to your body, so it offers the ideal form of exercise for people who, because of joint pain or muscle weakness, shy away from exercise.
Some benefits include:
A Supple Spine
Pilates gives more support to your spine, creating space between each vertebra. That extra space creates more mobility, transforming your spine in ways that you might not think possible. Plus, this new suppleness prevents degenerative spinal problems, such as slipped disks.
If you haven’t exercised for a while, Pilates provides a safer path into a fitness plan. Pilates puts no stress on your joints and no wear and tear on your ligaments and cartilage around your joints, especially your knee and shoulder joints. It conditions your muscles in a balanced way and increases your self-awareness by drawing your focus inward. Pilates is also rehabilitative. Its techniques and principles are more along the lines of physical therapy, as opposed to, “No pain, no gain”. You can safely do Pilates every day without overstressing your muscles or joints. Like any exercise, consistency is key — so doing it regularly will help you realize the most gains.
Mind and Body, Body and Mind
Pilates benefits your emotional health. The smooth, steady movements quiet your mind and soothe your nervous system. As you lengthen and strengthen your muscles, you'll improve your circulation and remove tension. Each workout will leave you feeling calm, balanced, and rejuvenated. Focus on letting the tension go, and you'll be on the path to a healthier body inside and out.
A More Balanced You
As we mature, balance starts to deteriorate as your muscles weaken and your nerve receptors lose sensitivity. Pilates reverses this aging process by stabilizing your core. Pilates works the small, deep muscles needed to keep your body steady when walking and your spine both supple and strong.
Reduces Stiffness and Pain
It’s not a magic pill, but if you suffer from osteoarthritis pain, you'll find that lengthening your body through Pilates will help soothe the soreness. Stretching helps pump vital nutrients to your muscles and tendons, which help keep them healthy and minimize your risk of injury. As circulation increases, your legs, back, neck, and shoulders loosen up, relieving aches and stiffness. Pilates also leads to subtle posture improvements, which will also eliminate tension, driving away headaches, backaches, neck aches, and other aches and pains.