What is pilates, and why are they a great workout option for elderly, injured, frail or sick people? Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise that people of any age group can perform at their own fitness level. Pilates can help an elderly person or a person recovering from cancer gain strength back. Strengthening muscles or gaining strength back is one of the top benefits of pilates exercises for elderly people.
When you do Pilates, you’ll be improving your postural alignment, balance, mobility and flexibility while strengthening your muscles. Pilates also help you achieve balanced muscular strength on both the right and left sides of your body.
Pilates exercises place a strong emphasis on the core because your core strength plays a central role in developing functional and sustainable movement patterns. A stronger core also improves an elderly person’s overall range of motion.
Pilates strengthen stabilizer muscles. Your body relies on these stabilizer muscles to function properly. It’s very important to keep fit as we age, and doing a pilates class a couple of times per week can certainly help with this goal.
Just about anyone of any age and fitness level can do pilates because it is a low-impact exercise that builds strength even in the weakest people. Pilates fine-tunes your body’s neuromuscular patterns while maintaining overall muscle balance, and preventing injuries. With consistent pilates practice, you can reap many benefits from improved strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and stability.
Pilates exercises for elderly people help them execute their daily activities and housework with more power and less strain while staying strong and healthy.
Below is a more detailed overview of the benefits of Pilates exercises for elderly people, those who have lost muscular strength from illness, and frail people:
Regaining Strength and Muscle Mass for the Elderly, Sick, or Injured
When you’re young, healthy, and agile, flexibility, strength and mobility are not a problem. When you become weak due to age or illness, your freedom to move around and do regular activities will be severely restricted. Unfortunately, the elderly and those recovering from injury have a hard time gaining their strength back.
Elderly people who just finished a cycle of chemo, for example, will need to gain muscle strength back. Similarly, those who have to deal with muscle atrophy due to surgery, or those who lost muscle strength and lost muscle mass due to being bedridden after a serious surgery could regain strength with pilates. Normal exercise poses a big hurdle that is hard to overcome, but pilates can be modified to suit the elderly, the frail, or those recovering from illness.
Pilates involves moving the muscles using easy, smooth transitions and precisely controlled movements. Thus, even those not in peak health conditions can safely enhance their flexibility or the amount of passive stretch in the muscles.
At the same time, pilates movements also improve mobility or range of motion with slow and repetitive exercise. Through the act of holding a pose, you can expect to slowly rebuild muscle mass and improve conditioning plus strengthen bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments. Because of this, pilates is a part of many rehab therapies under a clinical setting. On top of that, these elements are crucial to keeping individuals highly functional and fit, even as they age.
There are Beginner’s Classes to Encourage All Ages
Pilates studios always offer beginner’s classes, where you’ll be taught how to use the Pilates equipment, and how to do pilates movements with proper form to prevent injuring yourself. Most pilates movements can be modified for those who are very weak and just beginning to gain strength back.
Pilates Can Help Prevent the Onset of Injuries
Pilates is specifically designed to balance all the muscles of your body. This means you do not want them too tight and rigid or too weak and loose.
Balance and stability (often achieved by incorporating Pilates into your life) are key when it comes to preventing injuries. When your muscles are not correctly balanced, you are more prone to injury.
When you incorporate pilates training into your routine, you will develop dynamic strength. This means your body is able to stabilize and support your joints seamlessly while you are in motion. With this kind of agility, balance, and coordination, you won’t readily succumb to injuries. Because of this, many elderly and ageing people incorporate pilates because it decreases the potential risk for injuries in their lives.
Moreover, since Pilates is a mind-body practice, you become more aware of your body’s sensations. You become mindful of your pain, emotions, and environment. With this enhanced perception, your body can respond better to stimuli. As a result, you can prevent falls and other injuries with quicker reflexes.
Pilates Boost Energy Levels
Many elderly people complain of feeling fatigued and low energy quite often. An exercise routine such as pilates can help boost energy levels.
When you do a pilates workout, one of the primary instructions is to focus on your breath. When you have this kind of breath awareness, you improve your body’s cardiorespiratory capacity. This means you can do more work without feeling winded.
Most of all, pilates stimulates your brain to release endorphins or feel-good hormones. The practice also encourages optimal oxygen flow and blood circulation. Pilates can do all this for you with low impact moves that do not make you feel fatigued or exhausted.
In contrast to other workouts that make you feel tired, pilates gives you an energy boost. For this reason, the elderly, pregnant women, and those who are just starting their fitness journey can readily incorporate pilates in their life.
Boosts the Immune System
One of the top benefits of pilates exercises for elderly people is boost immunity. Many elderly people feel that they can’t risk getting sick. Luckily, many studies show that pilates helps improve your body’s immunity. This is especially helpful for older adults because the immune system naturally declines as people age. However, all ages can experience an immune system boost because pilates is clinically proven to improve overall circulation.
When you optimize your blood and lymphatic circulation, you bring oxygen-rich blood and other nutrients to your cells. As a result, you can effectively fight oxidative stress and ensure your body gets what it needs to fight diseases. In addition, a good immune system results from proper blood and lymph flow, which pilates movements enhance.
If you’re interested in regaining strength, being more active, and incorporating some form of fitness routine into your life, find out your optimal training program based on your DNA with a CircleDNA test. Genetically speaking, you may be better suited for some types of exercise versus others, and a DNA test is a great way to find out.