As we get older, staying fit seems to get harder and harder. Your body just doesn’t seem to have as much get-up-and-go as it once did, and in many cases, exercises that were no problem a decade or two ago could now feel too strenuous.
However, just because you may no longer be able to run 5km (we know some can) it doesn’t mean that you need to feel like you can’t get up and move. Even if you’re at a relatively healthy BMI, a good workout can lift your spirits and leave you feeling better about the day.
So in this article, we’re going to talk about Reformer Pilates, an excellent way to keep in shape at almost any age. In fact, there are many benefits to be had for those 65 and older that could make Reformer Pilates the number one workout routine for older people who want to stay strong, flexible, with good balance.
In case you’re wondering how Reformer Pilates differs from a regular Pilates routine, it has to do with the fact that you’ll be using a “reformer” rather than a mat. This saves you from having to get down on the ground, and it allows even people with otherwise limited mobility to partake in Reformer Pilates.
Here are the top 5 reasons why everyone over 65 needs Reformer Pilates in their life!
#1 – Increased stability and balance
Reformer Pilates can greatly help you in reclaiming some of the stability that you may have lost with age. It’s estimated that every 11 seconds an older adult is being treated in the ER for a fall-related incident. A number of these falls are even fatal.
A study was done to show the feasibility of using Pilates as a treatment to improve stability and balance in older people, and it seems promising. The participants reported fewer fall incidents, and even those who only did seated style Pilates reported better balance.
#2 – Reduction in chronic pain
If you have chronic pain like arthritis or back pain, then it can be difficult to get yourself moving. While it’s tempting to just stay on the couch all day, this is a big mistake! Exercise can actually help you to lessen and overcome chronic pain.
Stretching and strength building exercises, much like the ones you’ll be doing with Reformer Pilates, can help you to combat painful joint stiffness. Some studies have been done that have shown a significant reduction in lower back pain for Pilates participants as well.
Reformer Pilates is also a great way to restore some of the strength that we lose with aging. Exercise is a great way to minimise and help prevent pain or injuries from happening.
#3 – Flexible workout routines to fit everyone
While many exercises are simply too hard on the joints for many seniors to participate in, Reformer Pilates is very flexible. There are a variety of ways to perform these exercises, and your routine can be easily scaled up or down in difficulty depending on your skill level, or even how you’re feeling on that particular day.
Reformer Pilates allows literally anyone, regardless of their current physical condition, to improve their body. You can, of course, try some more difficult moves if you’re up to it, but don’t ever feel like you have to do that.
There’s no shame in starting things out slow, and it can even be more rewarding to see your hard work pay off as you see your physical condition improve over time.
#4 – It’s a great social activity
Many seniors often feel extremely isolated, particularly if they are widowers or don’t have any family that lives nearby. While it can be a little intimidating to exercise in front of people at first, once you get over the hump you’ll likely find that Reformer Pilates can be an excellent way to socialise and make new friends.
Most cities will have classes, all catering for older people. Having a regular activity to go to can help boost your mood, and making new friends who share your interests is always a great bonus!
#5 – It’s an easy and fun way to burn calories
A beginner weighing at or around 150 lbs can burn 250 calories in an hour-long Reformer Pilates session. If you’re capable of more strenuous exercises, then it’s possible that you could burn even more than that, up to 450 calories in a session.
If you’ve noticed that you’ve packed on a few pounds over the years, a good Reformer Pilates class could be the ticket to shedding some of that troublesome excess weight.
In closing, while it’s easy to be intimidated by working out, there’s no need to be afraid to take on new challenges. Reformer Pilates is a workout activity that doesn’t have to be scary just because you’re getting a little older.
Click ‘Find a Studio’ at the top right of this page, choose the most convenient location, and book yourself in for a Free Pilates Body Assessment today (if there are any left).