Fall River Jewish Home

Pilates and Senior Citizens

Pilates is often referred to as an ageless form of exercise.

After all Joseph Pilates, the founder of the movement, practiced it well into his eighties. Basic Pilates classes dedicated to seniors are popping up more and more at senior centers and local YMCAs across Massachusetts.

There are several forms of Pilates that are geared toward seniors or those with physical limitations. Chair Pilates is great for those with mobility issues. Pilates Therapy is practiced by licensed physical therapists who are also Pilates instructors. Pilates Cadillac is comprised of exercises that can be modified for clinical concerns.

The benefits of Pilates are well documented and include: increased flexibility, improved muscle strength, and better balance. It helps to improve overall core strength that is important for everything from weight control to decreased risk of falls. Pilates can also help to decrease anxiety. Joseph Pilates was well known for believing, “It is the mind which shapes the body”.

What are the pros and cons of Pilates for older adults? And what should you consider before starting?

Here are a few tips from the aging experts at Fall River Jewish Home:

  • As with starting any new exercise program, first talk with your doctor or your loved one’s doctor. Let him or her know that you or aging parent would like to join a Pilates class. Most classes involve lying on your back at least part of the time so you need to know what risks they see.
  • With modifications, Pilates is form of exercise believed to be safe for those with Osteoporosis. But a physician may want to order a bone density exam before giving you or your older loved one the green light.
  • When you are first learning Pilates, it is best to start with a class dedicated to seniors. If you can’t find that make sure the instructor has the ability to help modify movements for any physical limitations you or your loved one has. If the budget allows for it, a private session or two may be the best way to begin. Much safer than tackling this on your own.

We hope these tips help get you off to a healthy start with your new Pilates program. We would love to hear how it goes. Please be sure to stop back and update us in the comments section below.

Are you or do you know a senior citizen that practices Pilates? Have you tried Pilates? What would you say is the greatest benefit?

We’re here to answer questions and help you make the best decision for care for you or your loved one. We invite you to reach out and talk with one of our care specialists at Fall River Jewish Home today! CALL 1.508.679.6172, where assistance is just a phone call away.

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