Pilates for a Lifetime

Ann Middleton Blog

Joseph Pilates was a man before his time. A visionary, he realized the importance of mind-body fitness and wished to introduce it to the world. It took years for the idea to catch on, but today, a growing number of people realize the benefits of practicing Pilates and have become dedicated followers of the Pilates principles. I am fortunate to be included in that group. After discovering Mat Pilates in 2002, I wanted to learn more. And so the journey began. After many years of studying Pilates under several talented instructors, I find myself in an apprentice program to become a teacher myself. My hope is to share the benefits of Pilates with others; specifically to inspire young women and to encourage older adults to try it. Age should not be a barrier to a healthy lifestyle.

“You are only as old as your spine” – Joseph Hubertus Pilates (1883-1967)

Pilates has many amazing benefits that can make a difference in our quality of life as we age. Everyone over 40 starts to lose muscle mss, bone density is reduced, joints may become less mobile and metabolism slows. To maintain mobility at any age, the spine must be able to freely move in flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation; in other words…in all directions. As we age, this becomes increasingly important to allow us to function safely as we perform our daily routine. As muscles become tighter, the human body has less range of motion. This can make everyday activities a challenge. Small tasks like reaching for an item overhead, walking or climbing stairs may become increasingly difficult. Consistent practice of Pilates can provide a number of benefits;

  • -Strength & flexibility
  • -Greater range of motion
  • -Better balance and coordination
  • -Improved posture
  • -Reduced muscle tension
  • -Improved breathing and circulation
  • -Increased energy
  • -Overall sense of well-being
  • …and so much more!

Who wouldn’t want that? Think about what this might mean for an older adult; balance and coordination can equate to fewer falls. This can be a life saver in the elderly. Better range of motion, stamina and strength benefits all of us, but for the elderly, it allows them to continue performing daily tasks without assistance. Better posture can help with join paint, and improve quality of life. Pilates also has a social aspect. Joining others with a common goal for a healthier lifestyle has a positive impact on our minds. We physically, mentally and emotionally feel and function better.

The moves required to attain these goals can be modified for each exercise and adapted to each individual. Low impact to joints make the exercises suitable for people of all ages. So, put away those preconceived notions and excuses, put on your comfy clothes, and join us for a Pilates Fundamentals class. Try it and give your body the gift of feeling good. I hope, like me, you will be hooked from the very first class.