Pilates for Older Adults

5 myths about lower back pain and Pilates dispelled

  • BackCareFullLogo

The majority of adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain can be highly distressing, and if left to worsen can result in conditions such as bulging discs that are even more painful. Pilates has long been used to alleviate lower back pain. Yet there are many sources of misinformation about the holistic fitness system. Here are 5 common myths about Pilates and lower back pain and why they are untrue:

Myth 1 Pilates will worsen your back pain

Pilates, like any good exercise approach, is scalable. This means you can adjust your routine according to where your body is currently at. A qualified, careful Pilate’s instructor will not push you beyond what is safe for your back’s current state.

  • In order to make sure that you don’t inadvertently worsen your back pain while doing Pilates:
  • Communicate your current degree of back pain to your instructor
  • Immediately inform your instructor if any exercise feels too uncomfortable or if any exercise causes a spike in pain
  • Provided that you place yourself in good hands, Pilates should not worsen your back pain.

Myth 2 Pilates will cure all your aches and pains

  • Pilates is a means to an end rather than a panacea. Over time, with diligent practice, you will discover greater flexibility, ease-of-movement, and reduced back pain. This takes some commitment for the full benefits to be felt.

Myth 3 Pilates can cure back injuries

  • Pilates is an effective system for strengthening your core muscles and building a stronger, better aligned back with better posture. These elements will help you to avoid future back injuries, but if your back is currently in a bad way it is important to take any necessary resting time before commencing or returning to Pilates classes.

Myth 4 Pilates is not as effective as painkiller medication for alleviating back pain

  • The problem with taking painkillers is that they target the symptoms rather than the underlying problem itself. Pilates will help you to strengthen your back so that you won’t need to take painkillers as often in the future.

Myth 5 You need special equipment to strengthen your lower back with Pilates

  • Although your instructor will likely use specialised Pilates fitness equipment with you during your sessions, your instructor can also show you mat exercises that will strengthen your lower back.

Pilates is not a panacea for back injuries, but if you attend sessions with a qualified practitioner, communicate clearly with your instructor and don’t push yourself beyond your limits, you will reap the full rewards of improved core strength and a stronger, aligned and flexible back.

Want to build a healthier back? Contact Belinda today to find out more about a group or private Pilates classes.

5 benefits of Pilates for alleviating lower back pain

  • backcare-professional

5 benefits of Pilates for alleviating lower back pain

Lower back pain affects the majority of people – Arthritis Research UK suggests 4 out of 5 people – at one or another stage of life. Lower back pain can have multiple causes, from accidents sustained due to poor core strength to poor posture. Pilates is a holistic, therapeutic fitness system devised to strengthen tone and make the body more supple. When you perform the correct exercises, it also alleviates lower back pain.

How does Pilates relieve lower back pain?

The movement equipment and exercises that form the core of Pilates practice have been developed over decades. During this time, practitioners and health organizations have discovered that Pilates eases lower back pain and offers multiple benefits. The benefits of regular Pilates practice for those afflicted with back pain include:

  1. Unlocking lower back muscles

Pilates exercises such as bridge roll-ups work to loosen muscles in the lower back, while also increasing back strength and stability. Besides easing back pain, Pilates strengthens the entire back, producing lasting benefits.

  1. Improving posture

Keeping sub-optimal posture over long periods of time produces additional wear and tear on the spine and places undue pressure on the lower back. Pilates exercises systematically develop core muscle groups that support good posture. This relieves weight on the lower back, easing discomfort.

  1. Bringing the spine into better alignment

Spinal alignment is core to having good posture and weight carried evenly throughout the back. Performing the right Pilates exercises aligns the spine better through proper spine sequencing.

  1. Personalised back correction

 One of the major benefits of Pilates practice is that sessions can be scaled and adapted to individual Pilates users’ needs. Your lower back pain is specific to your own posture and other contributing factors, and your Pilates instructor can tailor your exercise plan to achieve the best possible results for your back.

  1. Increasing overall flexibility and strength

Because Pilates is holistic, it works the entire body, toning and increasing flexibility and strength. Balanced distribution of muscle tone and strength means that the lower back is not over-burdened and holding onto tension, tension that would otherwise lead to injury.

Are you ready to build a back for life? Contact Belinda today to find out more about classes.

Pilates for Healthy Golden Years

  • Joseph Pilates

As you get older, stiff and aching joints and back pain can create ongoing discomfort. Yet it’s possible to find relief and strengthen your core for better mobility and strength using Pilates. Here’s why Pilates is the ideal fitness approach for the over 50:

Why Pilates?

As we mature, we often lose mobility and flexibility due to a combination of disuse of important muscle groups and natural wear and tear. Pilates is an adaptable exercise system that can be tailored to your fitness level, making it ideal for seniors who have been sedentary and wish to start slow.

The benefits of Pilates for older trainees

The Pilates fitness method was designed to create strength without adding unnecessary body mass. This is ideal for mature men and women who do not want to lug extra body weight around. In addition to building strength, Pilates for seniors provides many other benefits:

• It’s a gentler way to stay fit: A qualified instructor matches classes to your current fitness and strength levels.

• It helps alleviate arthritis: Pilates’ focus on flexibility-aiding movement decreases the risk of joints compressing and causing pain.

• It works against any tendency to hunch: Pilates promotes longer, leaner limbs and helps you to maintain better posture.

• It increases stability and balance: Much of the strengthening effect of Pilates is attained through balancing exercises that use your own body weight and the natural force of gravity to provide a gentle exercise routine.

• It boosts mental alertness and stamina: Many seniors experience mild memory loss. The focus Pilates fosters aids mental stamina and consistent exercise increases alertness and overall feelings of wellbeing.

So, if you are looking for a scalable, tailored exercise approach that respects your current capabilities and runs a lower risk of injury, Pilates is ideal. Join a class for over 50’s so that you can enjoy gentle exercises that prevent and alleviate the physical complaints that most commonly affect your age group.

Pilates – Effective Exercise for Older Adults

  • This could be you !

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:

  1. It’s a gentler, low-impact exercise option

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.

  1. Pilates helps older adults suffering from age-related ailments

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.

  1. It also improves balance and coordination

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.

  1. Pilates is flexible and adaptable

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.