Pilates For Heart Health
Whether it is because all things “retro” are destined to become new, or humans are forever in search of the ultimate exercise regimen, or actors and athletes alike are proclaiming its virtues, Pilates is hot. It’s in. It’s it. It’s the new thing. Actually, given that this fitness program was developed almost a century ago, it’s the new old thing.
Pilates (pronounced puh-LAH-teez) is a form of exercise and body conditioning developed by Joseph Pilates, who was born in Germany in 1880. As a child, Pilates contended with various diseases including asthma and rickets, a condition characterized by abnormal bone formation. A determination to overcome physical limitations through physical fitness sparked his interest in creating an exercise program that was engaging and refreshing and that left the body invigorated rather than exhausted.
Now, I have been a Pilates instructor for over 15 years and it is clear for all to see that the UK is currently experiencing an ageing population as a consequence of the ‘baby boomers’ from shortly after World War Two. The average age of the UK population is set to continue to rise until 2035. I don’t like to use the word elderly. So I am going to refer to this generation as the Older Adult community. Age to me is just a number. But sadly we can’t escape the fact that the older we get, the more likely we are to get weaker hearts, muscles, joints and therefore more likely to suffer from falls resulting in injuries than any other demographic.
- One in three people over the age of 65 suffer a serious fall each year.
- In 2014, this cost the NHS over £5.4 million per day.
- 40% of the NHS budget is assigned to patients over the age of 65, however they only equate to 15% of the total population.
The worst bit – Studies show there is a clear solution that could reduce the number of senior people suffering from falls by up to 64%!
How Pilates can help reduce falls as we age…
At the Fit Hut, a large proportion of our Pilates teaching is devoted towards developing strength and flexibility in the trunk and core. These areas are directly linked with dynamic balance, the ability to react to an imbalance and counter act it with greater speed to avoid a fall. This in itself can significantly reduce the chance of someone losing their balance and suffering from a fall.Our Silver community suffer from less falls than the average child, the key difference is that children are a lot more supple and flexible therefore their falls are less injurious. It has been proven that if a Senior person falls after a course of Pilates lessons, they are less likely to receive an injury from it. This is because they are stronger and more flexible so their body can brace itself.At the Fit Hut, Potten End I run two specialised Pilates classes one in person class and one Live & Online Class. Both dedicated to our Older Adult community and those looking to improve heart health and general fitness.
1. Every Thursday morning at 11am I run a small group Pilates class for the older adults community in house at The Fit Hut. We perform a mixture of seated, standing and some matwork exercises suitable for all those that come along. There are numerous exercises that can be both modified and amended for each person that attends. So there is no need to worry if you struggle with kneeling, balance or getting up and down from the floor.
2. Every Friday morning at 9.30am I am live and online via Zoom. So you can join me easily from the comfort of your own home. These classes are again a mixture of seated and standing and optional mat work. That’s the beauty of Pilates, it has many branches and can be adapted and modified for all ages, fitness levels and fitness goals!
Pilates and Heart Disease Prevention
The best type of exercise for primary and secondary prevention of heart disease is aerobic exercise. Although the Pilates system is not considered to be aerobic in nature, it is an excellent adjunct to a regular aerobic program (such as walking, cycling, or swimming). In particular, its potential stress reduction features promotes long term heart health.
After working with the HertstoHearts community for over 10 years, teaching Pilates exercises has proven time and time again to be extremely effective in improving dynamic balance, flexibility, reaction time and muscle strength as well as decreasing the frequency of falls. Keep a look out on our website for our latest timetable and offers for our specialised and much loved Pilates Classes! Or better still subscribe to our newsletter for the most up to date information!
We always love to welcome new faces to The Fit Hut, Potten End. If you have a question simply leave a comment below.