For seniors, maintaining an active lifestyle is essential. But so many forms of exercise can be hard on the bodies and many have turned to Reformer Pilates as a way to stay fit while reducing the risk of injury. With its focus on controlled breathing and quality of movement-not quantity of repetitions, many agree that Reformer Pilates is one of the best ways for seniors to stay active. Reformer exercises can be performed in reclining or sitting positions, and most are low impact and partially weight-bearing, positively affecting ones postural positions.
1. Increased Stability and Balance
Reformer Pilates centres on movements at the core instead of the arms and legs, where chances for injuries are greater. To the benefit of seniors, Reformer Pilates teaches control and stability in a small range of motion, graduating to a larger range of motion as they gain better control and confidence. Increased control and stability are crucial for older adults as it improves their functional movement, including balance and posture. As people get older, some sense of balance and coordination are lost. Reformer Pilates increases strength and flexibility in both the core and legs, which positively affects balance which reduces the risk of falls.
2. An Antidote for Many Ailments
Reformer Pilates also helps with a variety of age-related ailments. Arthritis sufferers benefit as the gentle movements decrease the chance of joints compressing while maintaining the range of motion around them. For conditions like osteoporosis, the simple Reformer exercises increase bone density in both the spine and the hip. Reformer Pilates has also been documented to slow down the effects of diseases like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. The mid-range motion of the exercises helps overcome rigidity and become limber. It can even help with brain traumas like a stroke. The sooner people with stroke can start balance exercises with Reformer Pilates and get their bodies moving symmetrically, the better their recovery.
3. Improved Breathing and Circulation
As we age, our postures become even rounded and breathing becomes harder. The muscles that are responsible for breathing become weaker and the ribs become stiff. Resulting in the lack of oxygen which contributes to dizziness. The Pilates breathing technique used can lengthen the tight ribcage and strengthen muscles responsible for breathing. Over time, the respiratory system becomes more efficient.
4. Improved Muscle Strength
With age, the body’s muscular strength decreases significantly in the lower body. Between the ages of 30-50, muscle strength has shown to reduce as much as 30%! A sedentary lifestyle also contributes to muscle loss leading to decreased muscular endurance, resulting in fatigue and an increased risk of falling. Loss of muscle power affects the day to day activities in our life such as walking and climbing the stairs. The exercises in Reformer Pilates’ exercises will address these issues and over time improve the body’s muscular balance.