In our youth is an ideal time to begin a lifelong commitment to physical activity. It is a good time to really establish sound exercise habits, in terms of biomechanics and the use of muscles around the pelvis and spine.
The discipline and concentration Pilates requires helps those who take part in it to make all their movements more efficient. Pilates provides excellent cross training for other sports. Pilates, as a cross training exercise, helps to prevent injuries and enhance our sports performance.
Building core strength, for example, can help you become a stronger runner, better tennis player, and improve your golf game. When you utilize your core, your trunk stability increase and you’re not pounding down as hard on your hips and legs. You are also putting less stress on your spine, during your golf swing, and the enhanced stability in your core assists in your ability to drive the ball further.
As we reach our 40’s, it is important to think about exercise as something that will contribute to our quality of life for the rest of our days. Exercising on the Pilates reformer helps prevent bone loss. According to Wayne Westcott, PhD, women lose muscle at an average of five pounds per decade. They also lose bone density at about two to three percent per decade, and because muscle is a calorie-burning engine, the metabolism reduces about 5 percent per decade. As we age, all these processes start accelerating. Westcott goes on to say with regular resistive exercise, it is possible to rebuild and maintain your level of muscle throughout your 50’s.
Many women undergo treatment for their breasts in their 50’s; Pilates can assist them in preparing for surgery, as postsurgical intervention, and as something they can sustain through chemo and radiation.
In your 60’s plus, Pilates can help you maintain strength and mobility required to complete daily activities safely and easily. It can help you increase your strength reserve for emergencies and resist degenerative diseases. Pilates helps increase endurance and improve balance also. The inner core strength that is developed in Pilates helps protect the back, hips, knees, as well as correct rounded upper back and hollow chest that often develops in the spine of the elderly if not addressed through proper exercise.