Is Pilates Good Exercise for Seniors?

Pilates is generally appropriate for senior fitness, and it is gaining popularity among senior citizens. The ability to modify exercises to meet differing needs, along with the many benefits of the Pilates method, such as increased levels of strength, balance, flexibility, muscle tone, stamina, and well-being, make Pilates an inviting senior exercise program. After all, Joseph Pilates practiced his method into his eighties.

Classes for Seniors

It is possible to learn Pilates from online instruction, videos, and books. However, I recommend starting out in a group or private class with a certified Pilates instructor.

As Pilates becomes an integral part of the fitness world, Pilates classes specifically for seniors are becoming more common. They can be found at senior centers, Pilates studios, gyms, and YMCAs. If an age-specific class is not available, many seniors will find that regular beginner classes are welcoming and level appropriate. A good instructor will offer cues for exercise modifications, and most classes are small enough that some individual instruction can be expected.

Another option for the senior student is to begin with private classes. Private instruction is offered at most Pilates studios. This will ensure a good foundation in the basic movement principles of Pilates, and make it easier for an instructor to tailor modifications to a student’s needs.

Mat or Reformer Classes?

Mat and reformer are the two most common types of Pilates classes that people begin with. Either one will be beneficial for the senior student. A Pilates mat class is comprised of exercises done on a mat on the floor, without any special equipment. However, smaller pieces of Pilates equipment, such as the magic circle or exercise band, may be incorporated into a mat class.

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