Can Pilates make you look and feel younger? Let’s check in with the proprietor of Winsor Pilates, Mari Winsor. Mary is over 60 years young. She is gorgeous, vibrant, and fit. Mari says, “Whoever said 60 was the new 30 must have been high. Although we can always work on our exterior and put injections into our face, the inside does not lie. As you age there is that feeling of falling apart, but for me Pilates is the glue that that keeps my mind and body in harmony. All kidding aside, it just goes by too fast.”
Now is the time to look and feel your best; here are 10 ways Pilates makes you feel younger…
1. Body Awareness
No matter where you work out – in a class full of people, or in the privacy of your own home – Pilates embraces your body. Joints, muscles, skin, etc. The entire body is in tune when you are moving, twisting, and bending. If you go from cubicle to couch, you are not experiencing the body’s beautiful fluidity and sexy form. Pilates allows you to love your body at any age.
Posture and poise are certainly signs of youth. An elongated body, shoulders back, chin firm in place, definitely emits an air of confidence. Pilates expert Jillian Hessel explains, “Pilates can be a wonderful solution to all these poor postural habits because the exercises encourage bilateral, even muscle development and flexibility at the same time. A good Pilates workout doesn’t have to be long or exhausting — but it can and will rebalance your body over time.”
3. Strength, Stamina, and Balance
Youth is the equivalent of strength, stamina, and balance. As you age, you want to have the strength to play tennis, ride a bicycle, swim in the ocean, or other favorite activity. Age should not be a limitation if you stay fit and flexible. SparkPeople blogger and certified Pilates expert Nicole Nichols reports, “Pilates is definitely a good way to begin strengthening your body if weight training intimidates you. If you are completely opposed to doing strength training, or can’t for some health or medical reason, you will still see some strength benefits from a Pilates-based fitness program.”
4. Better Breathing
Taking deep, intentional breaths is a stepping stone to good health. Breathing techniques relieve stress, anxiety, tension, and so much more. Pilates, like yoga, is all about inhaling and exhaling on cue. The timing of each breath matters. As you breathe deeply, circulation increases and oxygen is released throughout the body, renewing and rejuvenating youthfulness.
5. Relieve Stress, Tension, and Pain
As we grow older, stress and tension can equal pain. Sore joints and achy muscles are not a sign of youth. Through breathing and intentional movement, Pilates can relieve stress and tension. Pilates has also been known to relieve the pain of sciatica and the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
6. Enhance Agility
Flexibility and agility are associated with feeling young and vibrant. Pilates elongates and moves muscle groups so that you are limber. The saying is that if you don’t move, you can’t move. Maybe that rings true for you. Experience Pilates to enjoy flexibility.
7. Leaner Muscle
8. Injury Conditioning
When you are flexible, your joints, tendons, and muscles are less likely to succumb to injury. Training & Conditioning.com reports that Pilates as part of a football team’s effort to avoid injury was successful, “Overall, we felt the Pilates program provided an additional platform to assist football players in preventing injuries and increasing agility. These exercises are time efficient and require no additional equipment. Pilates exercises are a very simple way for teams to gain the edge they desire.”
9. Enhanced Sleep
At the end of the day, we all want to crawl between the sheets for a peaceful night’s sleep. We are designed to sleep and we know that people who sleep better are more youthful. Sleep helps us to renew after a hard day of work and play. Through breathing and intentional movement, Pilates helps us to relax. When we are relaxed we can sleep better.
Attending a Pilates class can enhance your life in so many ways. The camaraderie and encouragement can keep you motivated to stay fit. Try attending a Pilates class at least three days a week, or have Pilates sessions with friends in your own home. The regular routine of working out with friends brings purpose to our lives and keeps us young.
Pilates is not for everyone. If you suffer from extreme back pain or significant lack of stamina, consult with your physician before beginning Pilates.
Whether you use a mat or a Pilates apparatus, I am sure Mari Winsor would agree, to feel vibrant and alive all of your life takes intentional effort. Visit Mari’s website for more information about Pilates and how you can stay youthful. What is Mari’s favorite Pilate’s word? Powerhouse.