With the launch of our second VitaChair (chair Pilates) class in Westwood, Wiltshire, in February, we thought we’d look at how Pilates can benefit us as we get older.
We often hear our clients say ‘I wish I’d started doing Pilates years ago’, but whatever age you take up Pilates, you can reap the benefits. Unlike our close ally Yoga, Pilates is more focused on working towards improving and maintaining joint health and aligning our muscles so they support those joints in the most efficient way. The more we regularly use the full range of movement in our joints, the longer we will keep them healthy and functioning effectively. Working our core stability from any point in life will improve our balance and co-ordination, helping to avoid those common falls later in life that can so often lead to more complications.
If you haven’t exercised for a while, or have been injured, getting back to exercise can be daunting starting a new class, and a worry that you may exacerbate pain or create more problems. However, whilst sitting still and moving less may make us feel safe, we know that isn’t the best option. In a recent study, 64% of doctor recommended Pilates as the best form of exercise for people with stiff joint and arthritis.
So, a small and friendly Chair Pilates class is a good choice for people with arthritis, as well as those recovering from a long-term illness or recovering from cancer treatment. Often we stop exercising too soon when something starts to hurt, and then the rest of our body and our mental health suffers too. Chair Pilates classes can be done seated at all times, though options can be given to work at times standing by the wall or a chair and use a variety of equipment such as triad balls, tennis balls, sit fits and foam rollers to aid and challenge movements.