Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pilates for Older People

I have talked a lot here on my blog about how Pilates can benefit your body in so many ways, but did you know it is an ideal exercise program for older people—people in their 60s, 70s and even 80s? I currently have several clients over 70 who tell me every time they come how much stronger and stable they feel from doing Pilates.

Pam-My 76 year old client
 There are several reasons why Pilates is great for people in this age range.  First of all, the obvious physical benefits for anyone—muscle strengthening, increased balance and coordination and just general overall improvement in well-being.  However, these things can be even more beneficial for older people who often begin to suffer from osteoporosis which can lead to broken bones with very minor falls (you know how you always hear about older ladies and their broken hips!).  Pilates helps in all these areas.  Resistance training is great for preventing osteoporosis and naturally, with better balance and coordination, falls will be less likely to happen.  Posture is also improved through Pilates which can help avoid that weakened back that can cause stooped posture.
Further, by focusing on your breathing, as I discussed in my this recent post, you will do a better job oxygenating your body which will benefit not only your physical being, but your mental health as well.  And it doesn’t matter what your exercise level is when you start Pilates, we have classes at all levels, and can modify nearly every exercise to accommodate varying fitness levels.  Pilates is not like aerobics or classes like that that people may be familiar with—it is ideal for older people who may not want to be performing the same level of high impact exercise.  Don’t get me wrong, we will get your heart rate up, but you won’t feel completely winded from doing Pilates.

Pam Rocks!
The other thing about Pilates training at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit, is that in all sessions, from group classes to private training sessions, you will have a trainer who is monitoring your exercise program.  It is a bit like having your own personal “spotter” as you work out.  Not many exercise programs are offering that kind of personal assistance.  You certainly aren’t going to get that my joining your local gym.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm in Natural Health Magazine!

I am really excited to tell you all that I was interviewed and featured in a recent article in Natural Health magazine called "Love Your Body."  Of course I love all the quotes they used from me in there, but my first reaction to the article was how much I loved the model they used to demonstrate the exercises discussed. She is not your typical 20 year old bone thin model that you often see in workout magazines. She is maybe in her 50s and while obviously fit, looks like a healthy, normal person (and I love the haircut and the shirt she is wearing.)

I also love that the article expresses my personal philosophy about exercise so well.  That exercise is meant to be a postive, beneficial part of your life, and not something to punish yourself with when you feel like you ate too much, or because the woman on the treadmill next to you is skinnier.  The article discusses setting goals for exercise that are realistic, and not something that is nearly unattainable, like having Tina Turner's legs.

Check out the article though, there are some great simple exercises that I helped the magazine choose that focus on all the highlights of exercise--cardio, balance, flexibility, and strength. The strength exercise is one of my favorites--a classic push up. Maybe you can only do a few to start, but I bet if you keep it up, your endurance, and love for your body, increases!

"Love Your Body," by Kate Hanley, Natural Health, March 2011.