Seniors: Why You Should Try Pilates

Exercise for seniors is important, but many older folks are afraid of hurting themselves in high-impact, muscle-building workouts or hyperactive sweat-fests. This is understandable - seniors often need a different approach to exercise that their hearts, muscles, and joints can handle. Pilates may be just the thing.

A whole-body, low-impact exercise, Pilates focuses on "lengthening the spine" and strengthening the core muscle groups, but gently and with specific exercises. Many practitioners claim significant pain relief, which can be very attractive to seniors who often deal with daily pain from arthritis, old injuries, and other problems. Here are some other reasons why seniors should try Pilates.

Injury Avoidance

Strengthening the core muscles can lessen the chances of injury. For one thing, strong core muscles enhance balance, making a bone-breaking fall less likely. Also, the flexibility and strength of your muscles has much to do with how well your body handles impact. Tense, rigid, or weak muscles may increase injury risk.


Seniors in particular need to think about circulatory health. Age-related circulatory disorders and diseases can be irritating or debilitating - even deadly. Pilates is said to enhance circulation by relaxing muscles and engaging the whole body. Think of it as unwinding a garden hose - when the hose is tied up in knots, the water does not flow through it very well at all. But loosen up the hose and stretch it out, and the water runs through freely.

Easy on the Joints

Pilates is a low-impact exercise, meaning it does not involve bringing weight down on the joints in a hard or continual manner. For seniors who are concerned about falling or otherwise hurting themselves, this gentleness can make a big difference. Also, for seniors suffering from arthritis, a low-impact, flexibility-enhancing exercise like Pilates may help relieve pain, and is less likely to cause throbbing, post-exercise pain.

Mental Clarity

Perhaps because it may enhance circulation, Pilates is reputed to boost mental clarity as well. Seniors are sometimes plagued with frustrating "brain fog" or confusion, and Pilates may be able to relieve those frustrating maladies.

Reduce Bone Loss

The loss of bone mass is a concern for older adults, especially women. Pilates may help reduce this loss with its gentle weight-bearing exercises that focus on balance.

Increased Energy

How some seniors miss the energy of their youth! Pilates may not bring back the same feeling you had when you were 25, but it might just give you a much-needed energy boost. Pilates both relaxes and energizes the body, helping you achieve balance physically and mentally.

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