Pilates is one of the most versatile workouts, and it’s an excellent way to stay fit. Pilates can be done at home or in a studio, and it’s even safe for pregnant women. Still, many people don’t consider Pilates as a workout option after 40 because they think it’s not suitable for them. The truth is that there are some really important benefits of Pilates over the age of 40. If you’re looking for an effective exercise routine that won’t leave you feeling sore or tired, then read on!
#1 Increase Your Bone Density
You may have heard that Pilates can help increase bone density, and that’s true—but it’s actually a fairly new discovery. A study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies showed that participants who did Pilates twice a week had increased bone density and a significant improvement in their osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis and osteopenia are both caused by a reduction in bone density. When bone density is decreased this causes the bones to become brittle and more porous. This increases the chance of breaking or fracturing a bone. According to Osteoporosis Canada 1 in 3 women will experience an osteoporotic fracture at some point in their lives. Even scarier is that osteoporosis is known as the “silent thief” since bone deterioration can occur over a number of years without any symptoms.
As we age our bodies change over time; however with regular practice of Pilates many lifelong health issues such as osteoporosis can be avoided due to its ability to strengthen bones.
#2 Changes Body Composition
Pilates is one of the best exercises for women over 40. This is because it helps to build lean muscle, burn fat, improve your metabolism and posture.
When you are in your 40s and beyond, your body composition changes. The ratio of fat to muscle is higher than when you were younger. As a result of this change in body composition, some women begin to develop an abdominal “pooch” that can look unattractive and make them feel self-conscious about their appearance. Pilates can help reduce this “pooch” by helping a woman build lean muscle mass throughout her entire body while also burning off excess fat in areas such as the abs or thighs; both processes work together to flatten out the abdomen while still keeping all other areas healthy-looking!
In addition, Pilates can help change your body shape. I personally can attest to this benefit. I was pleasantly surprised to find my once athletic (less curvy) figure was transformed into a more hourglass shape after a few months of regular Pilates sessions.
#3 Reduces Painful Movements
When you perform Pilates exercises, you are strengthening the core muscles (abdominal area) of your body. These muscles provide stability for our spine and pelvis which helps reduce pain in these areas. When you have improved strength and flexibility in your core muscles, this has a domino effect throughout the body by reducing painful movements in your low back, hips and shoulders.
Do you suffer from upper back pain or neck strain? The exercises performed during a Pilates session require concentration and focus on correct posture, alignment and movement patterns. Regular practice of these exercises will help improve your overall posture — thus reducing slouching or “tightening” up through the neck and back from sitting at a desk all day long!
#4 Improves Your Balance
As we age, our balance tends to decline. This can be dangerous for older adults, as falling is the leading cause of injury for those 65 and over. As you get older, your muscles get weaker, which makes them less able to help keep you upright. Pilates will improve your balance by working out all of the different parts of your body that are involved in maintaining it. It strengthens the core muscles and lower leg muscles which help with posture and balance. Never underestimate the power of good balance for longevity as a recent study found that people who can balance on one leg for 10 seconds live longer. The benefits of balance are immense as you age and good balance should never be taken for granted.
#5 Improve Total Body Strength
Pilates is a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, which are two key components of physical fitness. A strong body is less prone to injury and better able to perform daily tasks. Pilates also has the added benefit of helping you lose weight, improve your posture and increase your metabolism – all while keeping your body toned! Being overweight or obese increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight is through regular exercise.
In conclusion, Pilates is a great way to improve health and wellness for women over 40. It’s also an affordable, safe alternative to other exercise programs that may be more expensive or less effective. With so many health benefits packed into one workout, it’s no wonder Pilates is quickly becoming one of the most popular exercises around! If you’re not sure what type of workout is right for you, I recommend trying out Pilates first.
Christine Kirkland is a Certified Pilates Instructor offering online Pilates classes. She specializes in helping adults to increase their balance, strength, mobility and feel their best every day. Try a FREE online Pilates class designed to be low-impact and easy on your joints today by clicking here.