Category Archives: Fitness for Seniors

Pilates and slapstick comedy

Anyone who has enjoyed old silent movies by comedy greats like Charlie Chaplain is surprised and even amazed by the hilarious pratfalls that ensue. But if you watch the films as someone who has some knowledge of Pilates, you can see how these comedians could never have done many of these tricks without incredible core strength.

I recently watched one by the genius Chaplain in conflict with a pulldown bed – it’s oft called a Murphy Bed. When he rolled around and struggled with the bed I noticed he was rolling backwards, doing short-spine variations one after the other. This looked as if by happenstance because of the quirky bed, but in fact the comedian is working hard to make it look effortless. You start to understand how flexible and strong Chaplain must have been to perform such stunts!

Pilates has long been a staple of exercise for ballet and modern dancers. But this certainly shows the theory and execution of Pilates across all entertainment styles! Can you imagine how helpful Pilates can be in every day unforseen events such as keeping yourself upright when tripping on a crack in the sidewalk, or having the strength and flexibility to pick up something from the floor while in an airplane seat? It’s all easier with Pilates.

Entered by Carol Worthington-Levy, Pilates Student

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Filed under Fitness for Seniors, History of Pilates, Pilates for Travelers

Thank Goodness for Pilates! Chicago edition

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 6.08.08 PM.pngThe Chicago ‘EL’ makes Chicago a really easy town for public transportation. But that elevated train line that runs the Chicago Loop is comprised of a LOT of stairs. Metal stairs, flights and flights of them. No elevator that I could find… so it means going up and down those stairs many times a day.

There was a time when my asthma and bad back would have prompted me to give up and take a taxi, but for a pittence of cost, the EL is really the affordable way to go. So last weekend i kept saying to my traveling companion, “Thank goodness for Pilates!” during our long weekend in Chicago.  Yeah now Chicago is MY kind of town!

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Filed under Becky Bull, Fitness for Seniors, Pilates for Travelers

Pilates for seniors: easy effective moves

Thanks for the American Fitness Professionals Association for this great article!
Originally posted by Amy Occhipinti, M.S.

For the past ten years, Pilates has become more and more popular in the fitness community. Whether you’re young or old it’s a perfect way to improve balance, mobility and strengthen the core. At AFPA we are passionate about delivering information and workouts that are tailored to each age group and fitness level; in today’s post you’ll gain insight into the benefits of Pilates for senior citizens.

Keeping fit and mobile is essential, especially for seniors. As we get older, healthy movements can help with balance, stability, control and overall fitness. With all of the movements out there it can be difficult to decide what movements are the best fit for older adults.

3 Pilates Exercises to Help Seniors Improve Balance & Mobility
NOTE: if you have not been exercising, we strongly recommend you work with one of our trainers to understand the moves before doing them at home by yourself.

1. Pilates Kneeling Rear Leg Raise

Position your body on all fours with your weight evenly distributed between your elbows and knees. Gently engage your abdominal muscles – your core –  and extend your right leg back with your toes pointed and hovering slightly above the ground. While keeping the leg straight, you will then lift your leg as high as you can without causing discomfort or arching your back. Lower the leg slowly back down to starting, and then switch legs.

This workout is designed to engage your core and lower body, which will help you to build stronger glutes (your butt), ultimately improving mobility.

2. Mermaid

The Mermaid is a great movement for older adults because it will lengthen the side and provide inner flow. To start, sit on their mat with both of your legs folded to the left side. Place the right hand on the floor to give the body support when you sit up. While keeping the left shoulder down, extend the left arm straight up and lengthen the spine as the body stretches to the side. The opposite (support) hand will move farther away from the body to increase the stretch but be sure you’re not over-challenging your body or that your ribs aren’t popping forward.

To return back to start, send the left sit bone down and then engage the core to bring the torso up. Repeat on the other side to complete the full movement.

3. Side Circles

Side circles can improve hip joint flexibility and improve balance. To perform a side circle, lay on your side and extend your leg towards the ceiling (without causing discomfort). The leg will then move counterclockwise in small circles. And then clockwise in small circles. Lower leg and switch sides to reap the full-benefits of this Pilates movement.

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Filed under Fitness for Seniors, Our Studio