Chair Pilates for Seniors
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, only 32% of American Senior Citizens exercise. Elderly people rarely workout because of their fear of injury, but now there is a safe and reassuring way to exercise and receive health benefits. Chair Pilates is a gentle way for seniors to build muscle strength, stay flexible, improve balance, increase metabolism, relieve pain and improve mental alertness.
Chair Pilates incorporates Pilate’s principles but modifies the moves to make them more accessible for seniors who need to take extra precautions to avoid joint strain. Generally Pilates improves posture and prevents aches and pains because it strengthens and stretches all muscles. Most importantly Pilates has exercises that are safe and effective.
American Association of Retired Persons states that the strengthening and stretching of the core muscles through Pilates is a good way of warding off the effects of aging. Since Pilates promotes safety and quality of each repetition in a set there are usually only six to ten repetitions in a single set. One of the first things people who train in Pilates learn is to control their breathing, which helps maintain their heart rate.
It relieves stress from the body and generates more oxygen to the muscles when exercising. People who train also learn to control their balance, which is great for seniors who have had surgery and are prone to fall. Also learning to control your muscles is beneficial when rehabbing and controlling each muscle to prevent injury.
For example if an elderly man has to use a walker due to his recent hip surgery, learning to breathe helps to release stress and any stress on his muscles from surgery, learning to control his balance will help him walk without the walker or even without a cane, and then strengthening his muscles helps to strengthening the hip so he can lift his leg to make it up the stairs on his own or simply to help him walk with more control.
All these aspects serve a larger and more important purpose, which is to eliminate their fear. After doing Pilates seniors will feel more confident, improved and stable.