As we age, our body goes through changes that can impact our balance and mobility. These changes can lead to an increased risk of falls, which can have serious consequences for seniors. Fortunately, there are exercises like Pilates and barre that can help improve balance and mobility in older adults.
Pilates is a low-impact exercise that focuses on improving strength, flexibility, and balance. It's a great option for seniors because it's gentle on the joints and can be modified to meet the needs of each individual. So what exactly is Pilate and barre helping with? Let’s take a look:
Improving Core Strength: Pilates exercises target the core muscles, which are essential for maintaining balance and stability. A strong core can help seniors maintain an upright posture and prevent falls.
Enhancing Flexibility: As we age, our muscles and joints become stiff, which can impact our mobility. Pilates and barre help improve flexibility and range of motion, making it easier for seniors to move around.
Increasing Coordination: Pilates exercises require a high level of coordination, which can help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls.
Enhancing Proprioception: Proprioception is the body's ability to sense its position and movement in space. Pilates exercises can help improve proprioception, making it easier for seniors to maintain their balance.
Building Endurance: Pilates is a low-impact exercise that can help seniors build endurance without putting too much strain on the joints. Increased endurance can help seniors stay active and independent for longer.
Below I have given some PBB exercises that can be particularly beneficial for seniors:
Pelvic Curl: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale to prepare, then exhale as you lift your hips off the ground, rolling up one vertebra at a time. Hold for a few seconds, then inhale as you roll back down.
Hundred: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale to prepare, then exhale as you lift your head and shoulders off the ground, reaching your arms forward. Pump your arms up and down while inhaling for five counts and exhaling for five counts.
Single Leg Circle: Lie on your back with your legs straight up in the air. Circle your right leg clockwise for five repetitions, then counterclockwise for five repetitions. Repeat on the left leg.
Spine Twist: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Cross your right foot over your left knee, then twist your torso to the right, placing your left hand on your right knee and your right hand behind you. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Side Leg Lift: Lie on your side with your legs straight. Lift your top leg up and down, keeping your hips stacked. Repeat on the other side.
It's important for seniors to consult with a doctor before starting any new exercise program, including Pilates. A qualified Pilates instructor can also help modify exercises to meet the individual needs of seniors.
Pilates and barre are both excellent exercise options for seniors looking to improve their balance and mobility. By focusing on core strength, flexibility, coordination, proprioception, and endurance, Pilates can help seniors maintain their independence and reduce their risk of falls.