Pilates: Is it safe for older adults?

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Pilates: Is it safe for older adults?

Question

What kind of exercise is Pilates? Is it good for older people?

Berenice
Mexico

Answer

Pilates (puh-LAH-teez) can be an excellent exercise program for older adults. Pilates uses controlled movements — usually floor or mat exercises but sometimes machines — to improve total body strength, flexibility, balance and posture. These movements, which concentrate on the "core" (back and abdominal) muscles, can be done slowly or quickly, depending on your skill and ability. Potential benefits include:

  • Improved balance, which helps reduce the risk of falls in older adults
  • Improved posture, which can help prevent curvature of the spine (kyphosis) due to osteoporosis

Because Pilates is so popular, classes are springing up all over the place. Be sure to look for an instructor who is certified by a group with a rigorous training program to ensure you learn proper technique. These instructors will have completed several hundred hours of training in Pilates.

Last Updated: 12/06/2005
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