Is Pilates an anti-aging elixir?
This week I have celebrated the birthday of one of my 80 year old clients who moves with the ease of someone half her age. And today one of my 50 year old regulars announced that at her recent medical, she was told she had the spinal strength and suppleness of a 35 year old!
So YES- Pilates has excellent anti-aging properties. And here is why:
Pilates gives you youthful posture.
When we consider an old lady or an elderly gentleman, we think of hunched shoulders, a drooped head and a shuffling walk. On the other hand, an upright stance, a fluid walk and grace in movement all present a youthful picture. Posture comes naturally when your core is stronger and ultimately, a strong core is the most important part of every Pilates exercise.
Pilates prevents muscular aches and pains.
Most muscular aches and pains come from incorrect usage of our myofascial trains and muscular connections. In each Pilates session we work hard to correct alignment and control muscle firing patterns to place the least stress on our joints and minimise the risk of arthritic damage. Pain and discomfort make us move in a way that is debilitating and makes us look older than we are.
Pilates helps you breathe deeply.
Stooped sitting positions and hunched shoulders, common in office jobs, inhibit breathing. Pilates teaches us to open up our shoulders and use our lateral rib cage muscles to breathe deeply and fully with every inhale. So Pilates helps us optimise our oxygen uptake. This aids cognitive ability as well as overall energy levels!
Pilates is moderated and three-dimensional.
Lots of workout programmes push the body too far. Overtraining in some conventional sports can lead to injuries and leave the body prone to inflammatory disorders. With low repetitions of each exercise in Pilates, you avoid repetitive stress injuries. We also teach an infinite variation of movement through all three planes. Pilates promotes a complete range of motion (unlike cycling, for example, where spinal range of movement is limited and the chest and shoulders can become extremely tight). So Pilates doesn’t stress the body or tax the immune system. Instead Pilates promotes wellness, and that has got to be anti-aging.
So if you believe that the fountain of youth springs from being as active and as mobile for as long as possible, Pilates is certainly the anti-aging elixir you need!