Almost everyone these days has heard about Pilates, how it’s the exercise of choice for celebrities, how it will give you a flatter stomach, better posture and a longer, leaner, stronger body. But is Pilates really something that you can start in later life? When you’re over 40 or 50 or even 60 or more!
The answer to that question is an unequivocal yes. It is never too late to start Pilates. Pilates is a safe and effective exercise method for both your body and mind. A good instructor will help you to improve your strength, flexibility and overall mobility. Pilates done regularly improves your posture, alignment, suppleness and balance and even changes the way that you move.
To paraphrase Joseph Pilates, if at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young, it you are stiff at 30 you are old. Although Joseph Pilates never really received recognition in his own lifetime, now some 50 or so years after his death many doctors are recommending Pilates to people to help them lose weight and become fitter or to help relieve aches and pains caused by age or injury. And they are making those recommendations because Pilates works!
Although the principles of Pilates are simple, developing your core strength, moving with flow and control, and becoming aware of your body, they can take a while to learn. If you’re experienced in Pilates doing regular classes or following an online course is a great way to keep up your fitness levels. However if you’re new to Pilates, you may well have concerns as to whether it will be too hard or demanding for you. You may also have mobility issues and feel that you can’t kneel or get down on to the floor to do a mat class. If mobility isn’t an issue then you can simply start with a basic Beginners course or class, which will help you slowly develop your strength and suppleness. If however, you have restricted mobility then you will need to look for either a seated (or standing) Pilates online course or class that is geared specifically to help those with limited range of movement or suppleness or find an instructor who will be happy to help you modify the basic exercises.
Whatever level of fitness or age you are, if you are going to follow an online course or do an online class, which are the only options available to us at this time, I would strongly recommend you find one where you have access to some support by the instructor. “Pilates at Home” offers online support to all monthly and annual subscribers through a private Facebook group. Don’t hesitate to use that facility – it is there to provide support, ask questions, seek clarification or even ask for modifications of exercises to suit you.