Jan 15, 2024

How Pilates for older adults can boost wellbeing and mindfulness

Discover the many ways in which Pilates for older adults can improve physical and mental health and promote a sense of wellbeing 

As our bodies age, it’s very common for people to experience changes in things like their strength, mobility, and balance. If this decline continues, which it often can, then this can negatively impact the quality of life for older people and may result in a loss of independence and a higher risk of injury. 

But despite a decline in mobility, strength and stability that often comes with age, there are ways to mitigate, alleviate and even improve the common symptoms of getting older; one of the best ways to do this is by taking part in Pilates. 

Pilates is a full-body, low impact exercise programme that is designed to strengthen the core and structure of your body as well as improving on areas such as mobility and mood. 

By working to align the body, address and correct muscle imbalances, create balance and core strength, improve mobility and spatial awareness, it has significant benefits for older people, who are at a much higher risk of fall-related injuries that are brought about by a decline in the areas that Pilates works to improve.

How Pilates helps with mobility and balance

Because ageing tends to cause changes in posture, which can result in a more stooped, rounded position of the shoulders, this can often lead to an increased amount of strain on the joints as well as fatigue on imbalanced muscles. Ultimately, this can pose issues to mobility and balance, among others. Such changes can make it difficult to perform the tasks that many take for granted, such as reaching for something, climbing stairs or bending down. And with a lack of mobility and balance, even the simplest things can pose risks to older adults. As a result, finding it harder to get around and do simple things poses the risk of isolation and anxiety.  

But Pilates helps tackle these issues because it focuses on keeping the body balanced and aligned through low-impact movements that help to maintain the strength in muscles, which also then can help with mobility and steadiness.  

How Pilates can boost bone density and circulation 

Low bone density is a common issue as we get older, which puts older adults at a much higher risk of fractures in fall-related incidents. Even relatively minor falls can lead to serious injuries because of this. But because Pilates incorporates light-weighted exercises, it can be a powerful way to increase bone density in older adults as well as improving muscle strength and flexibility.

As well as this, because Pilates is a means of opening the body up and improving flexibility, it can help to counteract poor posture, open a tight ribcage, strengthen core muscles and generally promote a more efficient respiratory system.  

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Improving mood with Pilates

Pilates is simultaneously an exercise programme for the body but also for the mind. As an older adult engages in Pilates, it encourages them to focus on breathing, which can have a positive impact on their mindfulness and sense of calm.  

It can boost mood and promote peace of mind in other ways too. For example, if, as a result of Pilates, an older adult finds they are more mobile, more flexible and stronger, it can reduce feelings of anxiety and a loss of independence because they will be able to move around easily, engage in more activities, and will be far less at risk of injuries due to falls. 

Staying active with Pilates

For older adults, engaging in a Pilates programme with an experienced instructor is one of the best ways to stay active, healthy and improve peace of mind, which is why Oomph On-Demand users have the chance to take part in sessions held by Ruth Melling of Pilates with Ruth, who has partnered with Oomph On-Demand, trialling a new Pilates programme on the platform. 

For more information on the Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities Platform, just click here 

January 15, 2024

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