I discovered Pilates after giving birth at the age of forty-one. I’d gained a lot of weight, and when I tried to pick up my former routine of tennis and yoga, my back rebelled.
I turned to Pilates for pain relief on the advice of physical therapist.
Fourteen years later, my back still feels great, and Pilates remains the foundation of my active life, which includes tennis, windsurfing, and running around with my five children.
I’m convinced that weekly Pilates is the secret to feeling much younger than my 55 years on this planet.
Here are seven reasons why I’m sure that Pilates is the fountain of youth.
Any gerontologist will tell you that movement is the secret to ageing well. To feel young, you have to keep moving.
By contrast, being sedentary leads us to feel stiff and age prematurely.
The series of exercises and flowing movements in Pilates keep joints moving and muscles toned.
Pilates will improve coordination, balance, and flexibility—all physical traits we tend to lose if we don’t use them. Step into any Pilates studio around the country, and you will find men and women of all ages who look fit and happy.
Joe Pilates understood that a powerful core is the ticket to good posture and overall strength.
Pilates is a complete system of exercises designed to build the body’s core strength through balanced stretching, strengthening, and breathing techniques.
Strengthening core muscles can protect your spine and build bone density, which keeps osteoporosis at bay.
Pilates promotes overall strength that translates to all of your activities, from gardening to picking up toddlers to hiking with friends.
With over 500 different exercises in a Pilates manual, Pilates constantly challenges us to learn new things.
Scientists who study the brain advise us to continually challenge our minds to keep them youthful and agile. Learning new exercises with a variety of bands, pulleys, and equipment helps the body and brain work in harmony.
Regular Pilates constantly challenges, so it’s easy to avoid an exercise rut that can make you feel bored and tired.
Rolling like a ball, clapping your feet like a seal, and swimming on a mat are just a few fun Pilates exercises.
In Pilates, we are asked to do things that require us to abandon any crabby, older-person guise. Instead, we smile, laugh, and look silly while we are energized.
Retaining suppleness and core strength impacts how you move, whether that means walking across a room with confidence or getting in and out of a car easily.
Being strong and flexible helps you avoid the telltale signs of age, such as shuffling your feet, heavin g yourself out of a chair, or having difficulty bending over for dropped objects.
Senior citizens who practice Pilates move as if they are decades younger.
Pilates is a fabulous antidote to the tendency to hunch over as we age. Designed with dancers and boxers in mind, Pilates ensures that shoulders are relaxed yet strong. The emphasis is on carrying oneself for maximum height and breathing capacity.
We may not all end up moving like dancers and boxers, but there’s no reason to give away our age with stooped posture.
Pilates is a great stress buster because the exercises require very deep, deliberate breathing, which is well-known to calm and soothe the nervous system. When we release anxiety and tension, we can rediscover youthful joy and optimism.
I hope I’ve convinced you to drink from the fountain. See you at the Pilates studio!