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“The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is complete co-ordination of body, mind and spirit” – Joseph Pilates
Pilates is a series of slow, defined exercises carried out on both the mat and resistance equipment. The exercises should be performed correctly, taking the time to establish the technique rather than rushing through them.
Everyone who participates in a Pilates class knows just how much there is to think about; breathing, using the right muscles and relaxing the others, listening to the instructor and so on. This can feel a little overwhelming at first but it is normal and will get easier as the body learns the new ways of doing things. When you are thinking of all those things, you are in the moment, living it and doing it – there is no time to think of anything else… However, by the end of your class, you will feel energised and calm.
The breathing method used in a Pilates exercise encourages relaxation and has been shown to improve moods and reduce anxiety. Using the breath will activate and energise the muscles and as you bring your attention to your body, you will be able to execute the movements precisely, with control and mindfulness.
Mindfulness is an important state of being to strive for at all times. Mindfulness means being fully present in the moment, not projecting yourself into anticipated future fears or dwelling too much on any past disappointments.
Do you need help to progress towards being mindful? Contact Envigour Pilates to book an appointment.
Back pain is a very common cause of disability and absence from work. Exercise is often recommended as a way of managing chronic LBP especially Pilates which is increasingly used by people with LBP.
So what is the effect of Pilates on LBP in terms of muscle endurance or range of motion? Pilates quite simply improves muscle strength, joint movement and balance. Strength, mobility and balance are needed when doing sport and leisure activities, as well as everyday living such at washing, dressing, shopping, working and being able to sit/stand with ideal posture.
People with back pain sometimes avoid moving and doing exercise due to the fear of making things worse, which can quickly result in the loss of muscle strength and joint movement. This in turn will have a negative impact on their overall health and wellbeing.
Pilates exercises can start at a very low level and progress to a much higher level of exercise and the role of your teacher is to educate and alleviate why you may have ongoing pain. Attending a class can help lessen any fear associated with movement, correct any poor movement habits and postures, and teach ways to improve how the body performs at home, work and in sport.
Being able to move more easily will help people to do activities to maintain and improve overall health and wellbeing.
Pilates is more effective than most other forms of exercise for those with low back pain that do pilates on a regular basis ; whether the exercise is delivered as a class or 1:1, any exercise to be beneficial needs to be started at the right level for the individual, and be repeated on a regular basis.
Remember, Pilates is one of the few exercise types that you can perform every day without the worries of over-stressing the joints, skeletal structure, or soft tissue.
Keeping physically fit is essential for good health at every age. Yet as your body matures, there naturally comes some loss of flexibility and stability. This is frustrating for many mature men and women, yet mobility can be improved using Pilates. This movement therapy has long been a staple of ballet schools due to the support it provides for building core strength and easing stiff joints. Here are some of the key advantages of Pilates for older adults:
As you grow older, higher impact sports as a means for keeping fit become less practical (and even impossible). Any existing joint problems (such as the onset of arthritis) are worsened by strenuous, high-impact exercise. Pilates, however, is low-impact. This means that it provides far fewer jolts and shocks to your joints than exercise such as jogging.
Many older adults suffer from back pain or osteoporosis. Pilates works to correct posture and build core strength, and this helps to improve back alignment and ease other painful conditions. It’s even thought to ease multiple sclerosis and help with the stroke recovery process.
A further benefit of Pilates for older adults is that it helps to maintain balance, stability and coordination. Many injuries among mature men and women result from falls. Regular Pilates practice leads to steadier legs, however, decreasing the chance of losing balance and taking a tumble.
Exercise-related injuries occur most often due to incorrect use of equipment or the individual not being in good enough physical condition to perform the activity. One of the advantages of Pilates for older adults is that it can be adapted to individual needs.
If you want a gentler form of exercise that will ease stiffness and boost stability, try Pilates. Contact Belinda today for information on classes for older adults.