Staying active and maintaining your health is a number one priority for many people. Maintaining musclemass, bone density, strength and flexibility are extremely important to good health and being able to do all the things we enjoy. With our busy lifestyles it’s important to work proactively on our health instead of waiting till an injury occurs.
As we age, our bodies undergo many changes, but there is much that we can do to prevent or slow the rate of decline.
The Instructors at the Pilates Body Studio can perform detailed assessments to analyse your body’s strengths and weaknesses. They can personally design a preventative Pilates program to work on all your areas of need. Most importantly, they will monitor your progress and change and adapt your pilates program as you improve. When you see how well you can feel, you will want to keep being challenged. Before you know it you will be able to do things that you never dreamed of. Your body will be strong, flexible and resilient.
Fitness important at every age, but especially as we attain more free time once our children are independent. It’s time to enjoy all the benefits of that time and maintain our health so that we can pursue the physical activities we enjoy—whether it’s golfing, tennis, bowling, skiing or looking after grandchildren—without being hostage to pain and weakness.
Here are some of the conditions our Pilates lessons can treat:
Osteoporosis has been described as a ‘pediatric disease with geriatric consequences’ (Duane Alexander, Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development), because nearly 90 per cent of adult skeletal mass is formed by the end of the teenage years. Prevention must begin early: once peak bone mass is reached by about the age of 30, you can work to maintain what you have but you can't build any more.
The age of onset and rate of bone loss depends on gender and the type of bone. Around middle age, bone mass begins to gradually decline as ageing disrupts the balance between the cells that produce bone and the cells that absorb bone. As the growth of bone slows, it begins to thin and become more porous. Women have a more rapid rate of bone loss than men, with the most rapid losses occurring in the five years after menopause. Eventually, the bones can become so fragile that even a minor trauma can cause collapse and fracture.
The good news is that weight-bearing exercises such as those in Pilates classes can help. An exercise program that is supervised by a qualified instructor who understands osteoporosis and its risk factors can be targeted to maintain bone strength and prevent early loss of bone density.
As we age, our muscles generally decrease in strength, endurance, size and weight. Typically, we lose about 23 per cent of our muscle mass by the age of 80 as both the number and size of muscle fibres decrease. However, these changes may not just be an inevitable result of ageing: they can be caused by inactivity, poor nutrition and chronic illness or disease. If you look around, you’ll see quite a difference in the way people age. Some 70 year olds are much more spritely than others. While some of that is a genetic blessing, much can be attributed to maintaining physical fitness.
Balance naturally decreases as we age, so the risk of falling increases. Statistics have shown that 25 per cent of people in their sixties and 40 per cent of people in their seventies will experience at least one fall per year.
Targeted exercise, however, can reduce a person’s chance of falling by as much as 40 per cent, which significantly reduces the possibility of suffering injuries, such as bone fractures.
At least one in two women and one in four men aged over 60 will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their life time. The annual incidence of osteoporotic fractures in women is greater than the combined incidence of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer.
One of the greatest benefits of a personalised Pilates program is the emphasis not only on strength and resistance training, and thus the improvement of bone density, but on the overall improvement of balance.
Whether your goal is to keep rowing into your seventies, look after grandchildren, stay bowls fit, or enjoy gardening without pain, a maintenance program from the Pilates Body Studio can be designed just for you.