Pilates for Senior Citizens- Why?


Good Posture: head over shoulders, over hips, over knees, over ankles.

Pilates for senior citizens works wonders as it is low impact compared to other forms of exercise. It’s not as severe on the joints as other types of exercise workouts.

Pilates focusses on breathing & quality-controlled movements, not repetitions.
How Pilates Works?
“Pilates stretches muscles that are tight & strengthens those that are weak to help realign your body to its natural form.”
  • Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind & elevates the spirit.
  • Pilates is unique. It systematically exercises all the muscle groups in the body, the weak as well as the strong.
  • The exercises make you stronger, flexible, & less likely to fall because they re-educate your body to use all of your muscles, not just the superficial ones.
  • By strengthening both your large muscles & the deep, smaller endurance muscles that are responsible for your strength, they take the strain off the larger muscles & give them added support.
  • Concentration & correct breathing are added to exercise for the older adult that can teach you to recruit the smaller, supportive muscles.

With Pilates exercise for senior citizens the center of your body needs to be your focus (core).

This is the place from which all movement begins & proceeds to the extremities- the whole body working together.

Every movement and exercise for seniors, especially walking, should be started by first contracting the core of the body.

Bottom line: less pain, greater range of motion, and fewer falls.

DISCLAIMER: Always talk to your health care provider before starting an exercise program.

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Exercises to Conceive Better


Antenatal exercises is now a days talk of the town, but very few people promote the importance of fitness before the conception.The fitness levels before you conceive will determine the outcome of the pregnancy and also the exercises which you can continue throughout the pregnancy. Working out before you plan for a baby will help you to increase your energy levels and help you to manage your weight.
A study in Columbia University of public health found that fit women who exercised atleast an hour a day three times per week have low risk pregnancies and increased birth weight babies by about 5%, decreased risk of delivering premature babies.They are also able to more easily handle stress and do better emotionally.

Two weeks prior to conceive, you should stop all sports or activities that are jarring or carry a risk of abdominal trauma. Activities such as surfing, horse back riding, soccer, skiing, rock climbing, gymnastics should be discontinued.

EXERCISES which helps you to conceive better: 

WALKING
 Its one of the ideal preconception exercise. If you are unfit and overweight this low impact exercise will help you to shed those extra pounds.Once you conceive it can be continued as long as you can exercise.

CYCLING
Biking is another form of low impact exercise. It helps to maintain the weight and also improves circulations, and reduces risk of gestational diabetes.

SWIMMING
This is considered one of the best exercise even after you conceive.It helps to improve your cardiovascular, muscular strength as well as endurance.

PILATES
It is a mind-body workout that simultaneously strengthens and stretches you. Most of the exercise focus on initiating the movement from your core. Good core muscle strength will prevent you from back pain and also prevent post partum abdominal sagging.

YOGA
It again helps you to improve flexibility, reduces stress.Certain poses in yoga have been found to be beneficial as they increase the blood supply to certain organs.

Child pose

STRENGTH TRAINING
Weight training prior to pregnancy, either through body weight exercise or with dumbells or resistance bands or stability balls will give you a base level muscular strength.Squats, pushups, lunges and plank are examples of safe exercises. Muscle strength will help you to cope up with pregnancy discomfort and prevent low back ache.

RELAXATION
Progressive relaxation techniques can be used also deep controlled breathing can help to relax the body.

PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES
Pelvic floor exercises are very important to prevent complications like incontinence. Check out the pelvic floor exercises on http://fitnessphysios.blogspot.in/2012/03/incontinence-in-women.html

CORE EXERCISE: Exercises targeting your Transversus abdominis and other abdominals are very important.The exercises included are pelvic bridging, pelvic tilt, plank, side plank etc.

Clam
Leg lifts

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

  • Regular gynecological checkup
  • Give up drinking,smoking habits
  • Take folic acid Tablets as prescribed by physician
  • Eat healthy food
  • Keep yourself well hydrate
  • Get your weight checkup done
  • Avoid infections.
  • Check out environmental risks



HAPPY MOTHERHOOD !!!




DISCLAIMER: Kindly consult a physical therapist or certified trainer before attempting the exercises.


Exercise and Osteoporosis


Welcome Back!!
As we have discussed in the previous blog about the causes, symptoms and diagnosis of osteoporosis. Lets look into the Preventive part of this silent disease.

EXERCISE BENEFITS
1) Weight bearing exercises regularly help to avoid damaging effects.
2) Aerobics, dancing, waking, stair limbing or any activity that uses gravity to place weight on bones will help
perform resistance exercise training with bands.

BODY BALANCE AND OSTEOPOROSIS
If you suffer from osteoporosis, you are vulnerable to fractures.So its important to ensure good balance skills.You can also reduce risk of balance-related injuries by avoiding walking in dark leave a light on if you have to regularly get up at night.Use walking stick .

Exercises
Balance exercises can be checked out here: http://fitnessphysios.blogspot.in/2012/04/coping-with-menopause_04.html

WEIGHT BEARING EXERCISE
These exercises are important because as you work your muscles tug on your bones which stimulates new cell production and helps to strengthen them.
Weight bearing exercise is, any activity in which your legs and feet take most of your body weight such as jogging, walking, dancing and aerobics.Aim for 30 min 5days per week workout.

YOGA

When practiced correctly is beneficial. Seated and standing poses most beneficial.

VIRASANA

 

SHALABHASANA

PILATES
Prevents osteoporosis and improve balance. It strengthens your body and improve posture, balance and coordination.
Best Pilates
Those done on all four position and lying on your stomach or sideways.
Best back exercises

WALL PUSHUPS


                     

BACK EXTENSION

Single leg circles done lying on back and tracing small circles above you with one leg at a time.
Starting with circling leg perpendicular to body and other flat on ground.





Modification: 
The best option is to find class designed for people with osteoporosis.
Common modifications: Always keep head down when lying on floor instead of lifting neck.

EXERCISES TO AVOID
Forward bending may cause spinal fractures, rolling spine is also dangerous.
Specific exercises to avoid: spine twisting, roll up, scissors, neck pull, spine stretch, etc
Ask your Pilates instructor who specializes in working with osteoporosis for limitations.

STRENGTH TRAINING
It helps to increase bone density.
Improves balance and coordination
Lifting weights just twice a week produces 13% increase in dynamic balance over 12 months.
Helps to reduce symptms of osteoporosis including those associated with pain,bone loss and deteriorating posture
Improves quality of life
Ability to perform everyday activities.

STRETCHING
Stiff joints leads to tightened muscles.Your abdomen and chest muscles pull your body forward which can result in stooped posture.Avoid stretched that bend the spine.

AMBULATORY EXERCISES

ZUMBA



WALKING: try up and down hill and alternate between faster and slower speed.
Dancing: fun way to get weight bearing exercises for leg. Zumba, lone dancing, ballroom, tapdance and others can help to keep the bones healthy.



TAI CHI
Involves slow movements combined with deep breathing and meditation.



FALL PREVENTION
You should take measures to prevent yourself from falling and having fractures.
Following link will give you a insight of the fall prevention strategies: http://fitnessphysios.blogspot.in/2012_02_01_archive.html

Need more Evidence: http://www.hygenicblog.com/2012/04/19/bone-mineral-density-and-function-improve-after-exercise-in-osteoporosis-patients/

Age gracefully…….
Cheers!!!

DISCLAIMER: Refer your doctor before attempting any of the mentioned exercises.

Benefits of Pilates


The Pilates approach offers a gentle & powerful path to achieving your potential for health, strength, flexibility & stamina. This unique technique can help you develop supple movements & strength as well as improve your posture & general well-being.
There is no set way of teaching Pilates as the exercises have been adapted & redeveloped further by Pilates & his students.

Basic Key to Pilates: An intentional mind-body interaction-Focussing the mind & stabilizing the body while you exercise.

Health Benefits of Pilates:
  1. No age limit
  2. Minimum strain on the body
  3. Reduced risk of injury during & after exercise
  4. Better Flexibility
  5. Improved Strength
  6. Increased Muscle Tone
  7. Deeper, Efficient Breathing
  8. Reduces Stress
  9. Improved Digestion
  10. Clearer Skin
  11. Trimmer, Flatter Stomach & toned Buttocks & thighs
  12. Stimulates Immune System

You can take up Pilates at any stage of life, although you should start with gentle exercises & build up the time that you spend exercising slowly. Begin with simple exercises & build up to more advanced techniques, depending on your fitness level & ability. Practiced correctly & regularly, these exercises can help you Improve your physical & mental well-being in various ways. Eg: Strengthen muscles, better support & stability, better posture. Keeping your mental focus will ensure you remain aware of how your body feels, which will help you to exercise safely.

COMING SOON!! How to start Pilates

DISCLAIMER: Consult your doctor before trying out Pilates.