Pilates is a workout that helps you build full body strength and mobility, improve your posture, increase flexibility, and so much more. It’s a hidden gem in the world of exercise.
But what are the benefits of Pilates for those over 60 years old? There are many. Here are just a few reasons why the over-60 body loves Pilates:
As you age, your body loses muscle tone and becomes less flexible. This can lead to poor posture, which can cause back pain or strain on other joints in the body. Pilates teaches you how to hold your spine in a neutral position (the way it should be), so that you can improve your posture and feel younger!
In addition, when we stand taller we look better. Even without losing any weight, improved posture is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and can instantly slim your waistline.
As we get older, our body’s range of motion can decrease. This can lead to injuries in other areas of the body and limit our ability to do things like reach for something on a high shelf or play with our grandkids. Pilates helps improve range of motion by strengthening the muscles around the joints that are often tight as we age.
Many of the exercises I teach in my online Pilates classes include stability work. Did you know that stabilizing the small intrinsic muscles of the body fosters better mobility of the joints? In my opinion, there is nothing better than feeling your body move with ease.
Pilates has been shown to increase your bone density and prevent osteoporosis. As a low impact form of exercise, it will not cause you to put too much stress on your joints. This is important because osteoporosis is caused by weak bones and loss of bone mass, so making sure that you are exercising in a way that doesn’t put too much pressure on the joints will help increase bone density, preventing the disease from occurring. And if you already have osteoporosis, then Pilates can prevent its further progression.
After adopting a regular Pilates practice, I have had clients see an improvement in their regular bone density tests. They credit Pilates for helping with this improvement. It’s always empowering to see the benefits of adopting a healthy habit in a measurable way.
You know that feeling of being unsteady on your feet? The one where you feel like you might topple over at any moment, no matter how many times you try to convince yourself otherwise? It’s a common problem for older adults, but thanks to Pilates it’s a thing of the past.
Some benefits of improved balance include:
When we are young, we naturally have good balance; however, as we age this ability diminishes. The exercises in Pilates improve balance by strengthening muscles throughout the whole body – especially those around the ankles and feet – which support us when standing or walking on uneven surfaces like grass or dirt paths.
It’s important to note that Pilates is a low impact exercise, unlike high intensity cardio or lifting heavy weights.
This means it won’t leave you feeling depleted and worn out after a session. Pilates will tone your body without putting unnecessary strain on the joints and muscles, especially if you have joint issues or mobility restrictions because of age.
It should also be noted that Pilates is an excellent way to improve your mental health by fostering a mind-body connection. I like to call it my moving meditation. Not only will it leave you feeling physically energized but mentally prepared to take on whatever life throws at you.
Pilates is a great way to improve your health and well-being as you age, whether it’s finding more flexibility or building muscle. It can be done at home or at the gym, and can be done in a short amount of time – anytime, anywhere!
If you are interested in trying Pilates, here is a perfect 12-minute Beginner Pilates class. The class is gentle, effective and all you need is a Pilates / Yoga mat. Give it a try and see how you feel after!
Have you tried Pilates? What did you think about it? If you haven’t yet, would you consider trying Pilates?
I started doing reformer pilates at 58 as I was feeling stiff and getting a sore lower back when I raked leaves etc. It’s been 4 years now and what a difference it has made. I am so much stronger and can rake leaves all day and feel great! I feel 10 years younger too. So I would definitely recommend pilates to the older ladies. Reformer classes are expensive, so if that is an issue for you, the youtube videos for at home will be great
Can I do this laying in my bed? I too have issues getting up and down off the floor. Can’t stop laughing at myself trying to or is that a good work out also? Thanks
There are a lot of great moves you can do in your bed. I like to do cat/cow to loosen up my lower back. Not on all 4s but just laying on your back and tucking your pelvis like you would on all 4s. Knee sways can be done on the bed. Bridges etc. Give it a try!
At 73, I take at least one Pilates class per day, at the chain Club Pilates. I often take two classes, back-to-back. I take all different types of classes, and my favorite one is Cardio Sculpt. I’ve been going for years. I broke both my ankles in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in September and was in a wheelchair for two months. After surgery and lots of PT, I am finally back to daily Pilates, and boy did I miss it. And it’s the perfect way to finish off getting back to normal. My surgeon told me yesterday I can go back to Pickleball. Yay! I’m sure that being fit from Pilates before my accident had much to do with my excellent — and quick — recovery!
Good for you Cynthia – I am happy to hear back to your regular activities. I have heard others say that Pilates helped with their recovery as well!
How about those of us who can’t really get down on a mat, and then back up…?
Hi Britton, Chair Pilates is a great option for those that find getting up and down from the mat difficult. It is a great workout that targets core muscles, upper body strength and balance! Many local senior centres and community centres offer this as a class for seniors. I have a Chair Pilates class coming soon to my YouTube page! Stay tuned – Christine
There are some good videos on Youtube for chair Pilates. I have tried a few and enjoy them!
Absolutely love Pilates ( and yoga) , I’m 64 and and luckily still very flexible. It’s a great positive mind setter . Win win !