Regular exercise is the only well-established fountain of youth, but not all exercises are created equal. Are you looking for a way to stay fit throughout your life? Here’s good news: Pilates is for people at any stage of life who want to look and feel their best. You can practice Pilates at any age! While some forms of exercise are best-suited to younger people, Pilates is an exception. It will erase years off your body.
Chronologically you may be 50+, but if you stick with a regular Pilates practice and healthy diet, you can slow the aging process and may even begin to look younger. People will do a double-take and not believe how old you are. Imagine how awesome it will be to not only feel younger, but to look younger as well.
Why You Can Do Pilates at Any Age
Are you wondering what makes Pilates unique among exercises for people of all ages? I’m glad you asked! Here are just a few reasons.
- Pilates presents a remarkable opportunity for an aging population to perform a series of safe and effective exercises. You can do Pilates at any age because the movements are gentle, progressive and performed slowly with good postural alignment at all times.
- Pilates can provide people with the tools and techniques they need to age with dignity and a sense of well-being.
- As we age, flexibility becomes much more critical. Pilates emphasizes flexibility and works especially well for people middle aged and up.
- Pilates is a corrective, rehabilitative form of exercise developed to improve our body’s functioning by bringing it back into a natural state.
- You can modify the exercises and work at your own pace as your strength and stamina dictate. A qualified teacher can help you learn how to work with your own body so you can continue to practice Pilates at any age.
- Regular Pilates practice can lead to a stronger, leaner body, while developing body awareness. You will become more aware of how you sit, stand, and move. You will be able to relate those habits to the aches, pains, and injuries you have now or had in the past. Better still, you’ll be able to change those habits so you can eliminate aches, pains, and injuries.
- Another great benefit of Pilates at any age is the practice improves the connection between your mind and your body. As you age, you will likely become more aware of the importance of a holistic approach to health that includes the mind and spirit as well as the physical body.
A Man Ahead of His Time
Joseph Pilates was ahead of his time when he developed the mind-body exercise method that bears his name. His philosophies on health and exercise hold true to this day. This quote from the man himself shows why it’s possible to benefit from Pilates at any age:
“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”
~ Joseph Pilates
Many people at midlife and beyond are skeptical about exercise for people over 50. If you’re one of these folks, you may assume you can’t keep up with younger, fitter fitness enthusiasts. You may avoid gyms and exercise classes for this reason.
The good news is it’s never too late to start doing Pilates! In fact, Pilates is an ideal form of exercise for people over 50. It can turn back the clock and erase years of aging, helping you look and feel your best at any age. Pilates also has mind/body benefits. Combined with good nutrition, you’ll look great and feel great when you practice Pilates.
Why Pilates is a Great Form of Exercise for People Over 50
- Pilates consists of gentle movements that are easy on the joints. If you have joint pain, you’ll want your exercise routine to be easy on your joints. Even if you don’t have issues related to movement, Pilates offers an opportunity to move while keeping your joints safe as you get older.
- Pilates movements also help improve postural alignment. As we get older, we need to pay more attention to posture. Years of slumping over desks and keyboards takes its toll. Good posture is important and not just about appearance. Lengthening the spine makes breathing easier and gives your internal organs more room to function properly.
- You’ll strengthen your core. A strong core is the basis on which whole-body fitness is built. It’s not just about “six-pack abs.” Pilates training builds stability and balance, making the physical challenges of everyday life much easier to overcome. Whether you’re walking to work or browsing shops on the Upper West Side of NYC, you’ll do so more easily with Pilates training.
- You’ll become more flexible. It’s common to lose flexibility with age. When you think about what makes something a good exercise for people over 50, one thing to consider is whether the activity helps with flexibility. Pilates is a powerful corrective exercise. With regular practice, you can achieve even greater flexibility and fluidity of motion in your fifties, sixties and beyond.
- Pilates is more than just exercise. It’s an opportunity to become aware of your body. You’ll notice the habits you’ve developed at work and at home that lead to aches and pains. Pilates instruction will give you the tools to combat those habits.
How to Find Pilates Instruction for People Over 50
Like anything else, finding the right Pilates instructor and environment is key to getting the results you want. There are specific qualities that make a good Pilates instructor, and you’ll want to find a teacher you connect with.
Another thing to think about is the environment. As I mentioned, if you’re older, you may hesitate to go to an exercise studio or gym crowded with younger people who have different goals. In that case, you may be able to find an in-home Pilates instructor who meets your needs. The benefits of having personalized instruction in the comfort of your own home can move in-home Pilates straight to the top of the list when it comes to exercise for people over 50.
Workplace exercise program the Pilates way!
Work is tough. Sitting all day, working at the computer, reading emails is very hard on the body. A day at the desk can translate into low energy, fatigue and often minor to severe back pain. The sad thing is that even with 8 or more hours a day at work, all that sitting makes employees less productive. People need to move! Movement is what keeps employees not only more productive, but happier and more energetic. A workplace exercise program if handled correctly can mean a huge boost to employee productivity.
There are many benefits to offering a workplace exercise program. Here are a few:
1) Employees who don’t have time to workout are now able to do so.
2) Produces a healthier and fitter workplace
3) Fewer sick days for employees (because of number 2)
4) Increased productivity
5) A competitive benefit to offer to new hires and to keep current employees engaged.
Pilates mat work lends itself well to an in office fitness program. First of all, to teach a group mat class all one needs is a large enough space and a mat. That’s it. Another great benefit of teaching a Pilates mat class is that even though it is a thorough and intense work-out, employees can go right back to work. Some work-outs are so intense and so sweaty that employees need to shower and clean up making it difficult to squeeze the session in on a lunch break.
The mat class can be done in less than 50 minutes giving the employees enough time to get back to their desks. It can be offered at lunch time or, with time and commutes permitting, at the end of the work day.
A colleague of mine teaches two mat Pilates classes at a medium size company. The classes are held in a conference room and each student is responsible for bringing his or her own mat. Management discovered even after a short time that the students came back from class refreshed, eager to get back to work and in a better mood. She offers her classes around the lunch hour so that employees get a nice break from work and don’t have to come in early or leave late. She tells me that management loves the way everyone comes back feeling so much more energized. Even the management pops in from time to time and they too feel great.
There are two monetary ways to offer Pilates classes to employees: One is to let the employees pay for the class and the second way is to have the company cover the cost of the class. Different session packages are available as well.
A Pilates mat class is the perfect program for employees. It works the entire body and makes everyone feel like they just had their internal batteries recharged. It’s a great way to keep everyone fit, healthy and happy.
For further information on how you can bring Pilates to your workplace please contact Susan Sommers at 646-382-7911.
Pilates Body NYC is the Upper West Side Pilates studio that come to you. We make Pilates convenient!
What makes Pilates Different?
Exercise is all the rage these days and there are more types of fitness fads than cable TV programs how does one know which one to choose? Which program works best for me? My personal pick is Pilates and the five reasons highlighted below explain why:
Pilates Mat Class
1) Body Awareness: Having body awareness is crucial in any fitness program. So many fitness classes have people jumping around with poor form and the mind is completely tuned out. Pilates is different because when you have to focus on any given movement the form improves immensely. Without this key component, it is virtually impossible to improve your fitness level.
2) Control: Before Pilates was called Pilates it was called Contrology or the science of control. For example, when doing a typical crunch the abdominal muscles need to contract. The student needs to learn how to control this movement and not just overwork the neck or hip flexors. Pilates is all about learning control so that what needs to move moves and what needs to remain stable remains stable. This allows for great results in both strength and flexibility training.
3) Safety: Pilates when done the right way is a very safe exercise. By working with a well trained instructor who knows what to do and what not to do the student can progress to higher levels without getting injured. Too many vigorous exercise programs lack control and safety. Students often get injured and then lose several weeks if not more of training. How many times do you hear how someone hurt their shoulder or knee or lower back in a big group class? When an injury occurs the student is set back a long time. Pilates prevents this from happening because it is such a focused and controlled exercise method.
4) Balance: Pilates is a wonderful exercise program to maintain balance. When a body is out of balance, it is far more prone to injury. For example, many times people complain that one leg is longer than another and that is why they have trouble doing certain exercises. Most of the time, one leg really isn’t longer, but one hip is tighter and hiked up giving the appearance of a leg length discrepancy. Over time, this can become a serious problem. Pilates allows the body to return to a balanced state. As the student becomes more aware of his or her body, he or she can correct certain movement patterns that lead to this imbalance.
5) Fountain of Youth: Nothing changes the body like Pilates. Nothing. Not only does it make the body look longer and leaner but it also allows for a more youthful gait. When someone can stand up tall and move with grace and control, it takes years off their appearance. Pilates can be a real fountain of youth.
Pilates is a fantastic base for all forms of movement in addition to being a perfect standalone exercise program. Once you understand how to move and how to remain in control not only do you look and feel better, but all forms of exercise and movement become easier.
Pilates Body NYC is the Upper West Side Pilates studio that comes to you. We make Pilates convenient!
Are you married to stress or just engaged?
By Stan Cohen
Are you one of those people who don’t quite “get it” when someone uses the term “relax” in reference to muscles and joints?
Think of it using this term instead: “disengage” I have found recently that some students who have been in class for a while are still holding too much stress and corresponding tension in their joints and muscles.
As much as I tell them they need to relax and soften up the arms, hands, shoulders, hips, thighs, knees and so on they seem to keep on keeping on with the same tension.
They appeared to be married to their stress and tension for better or for worse. I found out that they were not married to it, they were only engaged and did not realize it.
So, I used the term disengage with a few and voila! It was magical for them.
Think of these two truths (according to Stan)
- Movement is learning to disengage certain muscle groups and engage others in a coordinated and fluid method.
- Relaxing is learning to connect to the mental and physical parts of yourself that are actively engaged in stress and disengage them.If you are a high stress personality, work in a high stress situation or just want to relax, this form of movement and exercise may be prime for you and extremely beneficial to your overall health.
Body Mind Programs such as Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga include this form of training as one of the core aspects of their gentle, controlled fluid movement.
For more info on Stan’s Programs
Contact Stan Cohen via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone: 908.857.0271
Mailing address: PO Box 182, Port Murray, NJ 07865