I recently had a request from one of my online Pilates members for a Pilates Mat class with a focus on balance. Since then I’ve created a series of Reformer and Mat Pilates classes with a focus on balance. I have to admit, I was quite wobbly with some of the exercises and learned that I need to make balance part of my regular practice. The key Pilates principal balance can refer to the whole individual, a balance of body, mind and spirit. In this article I’d like to explore the benefits of balance in the body and its muscular development in relation to bones. Balance and how it can be implemented into all areas of your life is a fascinating topic and one I’d like to dive deeper into in future posts. I believe living a life in balance cultivates overall optimum health and wellness. It's a marathon not a race so enjoy the ride!
It is important to know that you are never too young or mature to incorporate a balance and Pilates practice in your daily or weekly routine. It’s a known fact that you lose muscle and bone mass as you age and exercise is crucial to maintain and build strength. Most bone breaks and fractures happen in older adults ages 60 to 75 from falling from lack of balance. Imbalances in your muscles happen early in life in your daily activities when you are sitting at a computer, driving your car, using your phone and poor posture. This is why starting an exercise routine like Pilates, that moves your muscles in all ranges and directions of motion is so crucial. Pilates creates longer, leaner, more usable muscles from the inside out.
In addition, studies show that strength training exercises like Pilates improve bone density in postmenopausal women with Osteoporosis. It takes 6 to 8 months to see an improvement in bone density related to exercise. So keep at it!
Although I don’t have osteoporosis, I am a postmenopausal woman in my 50s. A few months ago I slipped and fell down a flight of stairs in my house. My puppy had an accident at the top of the stairs and down I went. Luckily the bruising and sore muscles resolved after a few weeks. It could have been a lot worse! In this instance I could not avoid losing my balance but maintaining strong core muscles most likely protected my bones from injury.
Most of my Pilates clients are women from the age of 35 to 75. You are all doing the same classes, meaning you are all strong and resilient! Those of you that are over 60 are strong and balanced because you have maintained a resistance training practice with Pilates. I am grateful for all of you.
Keep coming back to the Mat and keep living your best life!
Pilates Instructor and Studio Owner
Certified Health and Hormone Coach