I recently was able to sit down and talk with a womens health keynote speaker, who provided me with loads of valuable information I will be relaying to you in the coming articles. Here we discuss the first topic of our conversation, and that is how women age, and the benefits that pilates, and yoga can provide to women’s health in both the long and short term.
First thing to keep in mind, is you should stick with it (I mean months), it can take you a while to get used to. There’s a lot of brain work involved in translating it to your day to day life. Choose a specialist pilates instructor, at least in the first few months, and definitely if you have pain problems, so that you get the attention required for beginners. Pilates is not a regulated industry so there are large variations in instructor ability (I say a maximum class size of 8, or 1:1).
Start with mat work to help you grasp the basics. Keep it low level for a fair length of time if you are not fit.
Even if you have been doing it for a while, intermittently get your instructor to check whether you are performing the exercises correctly. Its easy to slip into poor methods, which can cause injuries. Undergoing herniated disc treatment would put a damper on your pilates exercises as you can imagine. So keep in mind that outwardly a movement can look correct, but the sequence of muscle activation can be incorrect. Its technical in the beginning.
Its not just for women.
Things to know about pilates:
- Its is effective for getting your abs back after having a baby (even years after the event).
- Its great for your joints because it reduces strain, particularly on your spine.
- You dont have to be fit.
- Its never too late to start. With older people I tend to focus on their balance, and activation of the supporting muscles of the spine.
- Its most effective when you learn to incorporate it into your day to day life, applying it to your posture and daily movement.
- As you get stronger you can add resistance to the movement, using bands, the magic circle, hand held weights, to challenge your muscles further.