Staying active can help you feel better, and you can retain some independence in your golden years. But some activities, like walking, can get boring after a while. If you’re looking for a way to vary your workout routine as a senior, you may be interested in Pilates.
Seniors can do Pilates as it is very flexible, so it’s perfect for seniors who want to get active. It’s possible to do Pilates at home alone, but group classes can also provide a social outlet. Classes for seniors and also general beginner classes can be a great place to start to learn Pilates.
Whether you’ve been active for decades or want to get more active, you should consider Pilates. It’s a great way to get active without stressing out your body. Keep reading to learn how seniors can do Pilates safely and effectively.
Always consult with a medical professional first. You will find our disclaimer here.
One of the best ways for seniors to try Pilates is with a mat class. Mat classes are what they sound like because all you need is a Pilates mat. You don’t need any special equipment to practice on the mat in or out of class.
Taking a class on the mat will give you the benefits of Pilates without the need for expensive gear. Pilates requires you to slow down and control your movements. It can help you tone your muscles so that you can retain more strength.
Other benefits include a stronger core and better posture. If you suffer from chronic pain, a Pilates class can also help you. There are plenty of other benefits of doing Pilates, and it doesn’t matter if you use a mat or Pilates equipment.
If you want to challenge yourself after doing Pilates for a while, you can take a reformer class. This class uses the Pilates reformer, which is a machine you use. A reformer class is perfect if you want to improve your core strength or help your posture.
You’ll use the machine to do various exercises, which will help you improve your physical fitness. It doesn’t matter if you’re a senior, and you can do this at any age. Doing a reformer class can help with your balance, and it’s a great alternative to the mat.
If you don’t like lying on the ground, the mat might not be the best option for you. But with a machine, you don’t have to get to the floor. You can enjoy the same benefits as with a mat, and you can take a starter class or ongoing lessons.
Another great way for seniors to do Pilates is with private training sessions. Private instruction is especially useful if you haven’t been very active recently. Your trainer can focus on your needs, and they can make sure you make the moves correctly.
You won’t have to worry about sharing an instructor with other students, so you can get as much attention as you need. Then, you can ask questions and get feedback on your performance.
After you get more comfortable doing Pilates, you can move to a group class or train at home. You can get private training on a mat or reformer, so you don’t have to compromise on that.
Private training does cost more than a group class, but one session can be more than enough to get you started. You can take what you learn privately and apply it to other Pilates sessions.
If you can’t or don’t want to go to a Pilates studio, you can workout at home. You can find Pilates workouts online, and there are tons of exercises out there. It doesn’t matter if you want something short or long, mat or reformer.
An at-home program is great because it means you don’t have to get out. If you don’t always have a ride to the gym, you can still train. You can do Pilates regardless of the weather outside, and you don’t have to worry about fitting a Pilates class into your schedule.
Most of these online workouts are also free, which is even better. Unless you have a gym membership, you’ll probably have to pay for each class you attend.
You don’t need any special software, and you can find tons of videos on YouTube. Here’s one example:
Considerations for Seniors
When you start doing Pilates, you should consider a few things. While it’s a great workout for any age, you should think about your current physical health as a senior.
You probably aren’t as limber as you used to be. Because of that, you may need to take it more slowly than someone younger. If you have other health conditions, especially if they affect your heart or lungs, you also need to keep those in mind.
Think about these things and how you can adapt Pilates to fit your needs.
As you get older, you may lose some flexibility, so some Pilates moves may be more difficult. You might need to spend more time working on your flexibility to make those moves.
If you don’t want to feel behind on flexibility, you can find a Pilates class for seniors. The other students will probably be in a similar situation, so the instructor will take things slow.
You can also look into private training if you have other flexibility-related concerns. Pilates should be enjoyable, and you can change the moves you do so that you can have a successful workout.
While Pilates can help improve your balance, you might have issues when you first start. If you already have balance problems, you can focus on exercises where you lay down.
You can also use a reformer so that you don’t need the floor. Another way you can modify Pilates to make up for your balance issues is by partnering with someone.
You and your Pilates partner can spot each other, and you can act as a balance point. As you get better at Pilates, you may find you don’t need any external support. If you want to do Pilates alone, you can use a table or chair to grab onto for balance.
In a private training session, your instructor can let you use their body for support. That way, you can still get your Pilates in without worrying about falling.
Another thing that can happen as you age is that you lose some endurance. Unless you’re already relatively active, you may need more frequent breaks while training.
If that’s the case, look for a private trainer who lets you take more breaks. Then, you can still do your workouts and get assistance, but you don’t have to push yourself too hard. A good trainer will be able to work with you to reach your goals.
You can also look for shorter Pilates classes so that you don’t have to work out for as long. When you first get to class, you can tell the instructor about your concerns so that they will understand if you need to rest for a bit.
You should also consider your mobility in a couple of ways. First, your body may not be able to move very fast, which is okay. But you also should consider your ability to get to a Pilates class.
If you don’t drive anymore, you’ll need someone to take you to and from the session. You can also look for a bus or walk if you live close enough.
When you live in an assisted living facility, you may have access to transportation to the local gym. But your facility may also have Pilates classes there, so you won’t have to travel much.
Pilates is an excellent form of exercise for all ages, including seniors. Whether you want to take a class or do exercises at home, you can make it work. But keep your body and health in mind to help modify Pilates to fit your needs.
- Very Well Fit: 5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Pilates Mat Class
- Women’s Health Mag: 7 Pilates Benefits You Don’t Want to Sleep On
- NBC News: Reformer Pilates: What it is, Who it’s best for, and How To Do Some Moves Without the Reformer
- YouTube: Standing Pilates for Seniors
- Vital Record: 10 Common Elderly Health Issues