We don’t often associate exercise with pleasure. Yes, perhaps afterwards – but getting there can be quite a challenge. It isn’t easy to find a type of exercise that we consider exciting and pleasurable to do past the age of 60 – yet, this is an age where regular exercise can benefit the body the most. Often, exercise is perceived as high-impact movements, such as running or intensive cardio like cycling, and this tends to put older people off the idea of exercise.
There is, however, one type of exercise that is not only pleasant to do, but it is also highly beneficial to people over 60. Pilates provides a total workout for the body, without any high-impact movements, and the movements can be adjusted to the fitness levels of the person doing it. Older women and men everywhere are tapping into the great benefits that Pilates has to offer, and they are loving it! For those who live in Gauteng, BASI Pilates in Pretoria offers all kinds of classes, and we encourage older people to engage their bodies in this outstanding form of exercise.
As people get older, the body changes, and it becomes necessary to work on strength, balance, weight and coordination, in order to live a healthier, physical life. Often, exercise can help to alleviate back pain or other injuries and aches, and it even feeds the mind and spirit. It can be compared to yoga, because the regime consists of a series of gentle movements that are performed, and the poses require concentration and focus, which sharpens the mind. Breathing is exceptionally important, as the correct breathing techniques can help to bring more oxygen to the mind and body, which in turn translates into better relaxation and better sleep.
One of the reasons why people over 60 relate so well to Pilates is that it builds and strengthens the core muscles that support the skeletal structure. The abdominals, back muscles and pelvic floor provide the framework that the body needs to move efficiently, and keeping these strong and flexible help to improve balance and posture, and this in turn results in a stronger body and less risk of pain or injury. Pilates is also a low-impact form of exercise, and can be customised to any fitness level. It is also very useful for losing weight and building a leaner physique, because the movements are so highly targeted. Even though the movements have a low impact, they still provide a good cardio workout, and the intensity can be increased as fitness levels improve.
But there are also mental and social benefits to be had from doing Pilates. Being able to maintain a healthy exercise regime, managing to achieve certain exercise goals, and learning to master new poses all bring with it a sense of accomplishment, and this increases confidence and boosts self-esteem. Working out in a class brings with it a social environment where people can interact, and quite often, friendships are formed that become meaningful and fun.
So, if you are over 60 and looking for a place to do Pilates in Pretoria, come to BASI Pilates! Our highly trained instructors will do an assessment with you first, and then work out a Pilates regime for you. Contact us today to find out more.