Pilates (for Men and Women)

 

As ever more we sit down and stare at screens for a living, back pain is becoming more and more a part of modern life. Humans are supposed to move, bend, twist and move around, not sit hunched in an office chair for 12 hours of the day. In this technological era, we have gone from a species that is dependent on our bodies to one that relies on our brains.

And  the damage we are doing to our bodies is profound.

The latest Health and Safety Executive figures here in the UK show nearly 10 million working days are lost each year for adults aged 25 to 64 because of back pain, costing the economy £12 billion a year. It is said that around 80% of us will suffer from back pain.

Pilates and Yoga are increasingly seen as crucial weapons in the war against back pain. Pilates is a western invention that focuses on strength and Yoga is eastern one that places great value on flexibility.

What exactly is Pilates?

 Pilates is a method of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements. Pilates emphasizes proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance. Pilates is named for its creator, Joseph Pilates, who developed the exercises in the 1920s.

A Pilates routine generally includes exercises that promote core strength and stability, muscle control and endurance, including exercises that stress proper posture and movement patterns and balanced flexibility and strength.

What are the benefits of Pilates?

 By practicing Pilates regularly, you can achieve a number of health benefits, including:
  • Improved core strength and stability
  • Improved posture and balance
  • Improved flexibility
  • Prevention and treatment of back pain

Can beginners do Pilates?

It’s a common misconception that Pilates is only for serious athletes or professional dancers. While these groups first adopted Pilates, they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this approach to strength training. Another common misconception is that Pilates requires specialized equipment. Maybe you’ve seen a Pilates apparatus — called a Reformer — that looks like a bed frame with a sliding carriage and adjustable springs, or perhaps you’ve seen a type of trapeze table. But, don’t let those machines intimidate you. The reality is that many Pilates exercises can be done on the floor with just a mat.
First Prize for me when learning something new is the DVD/video, especially when it comes to exercises. I often find it difficult to execute/copy exercises from a book. I want to see the real thing where I have a teacher who can show me how to do it correctly, and over and over and over again if needs be. Your own personal coach/teacher who talks to you and demonstrates. My biggest fear is to take an exercise from a book and then execute it incorrectly over and over again without knowing it. That could be doing more harm than good !
 My partner who is now in her 60’s (both of us) has been doing Pilates for a number of years now and she swears by it. She is only able to get to a class once a week (Mondays) but what we decided this year was that 15 mins before she goes up for her bath, she and I would do a few Pilates exercises together. She has the knowledge and so has become my teacher. And then during the day we fit our own short sessions in when and if we can, and 90% of the time we can 🙂
 So hear are a few DVD’s which I have chosen for you should you be wanting to get into Pilates

 

 

10 Minute Solution
For The Over 50’s

 

 

 

Pilates For Life
Six Easy To Follow Classes

If you are interested in finding out more regarding each video/dvd, simply click on the text below each one.

If you scroll right down to the bottom of the page you will find thoughts and opinions regarding this article. Thanks for visiting. Look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences with Pilates.

Roy                                          You can also Email me at:     Bleddyn_Roy@yahoo.com

4 thoughts on “Pilates (for Men and Women)

  1. I’ve never understood the difference between pilates and yoga. Let me clarify, I don’t get the health benefits of one vs the other.

    I get that yoga has a lot of cultural elements from Hinduism and really stresses the mind muscle connection and all sorts of interesting breathing things. I don’t know that Pilates has that cultural aspect.

    Maybe I’m just ignorant, but to me it looks like they work the body similarly. Can you enlighten me on why you would pick one over the other?

    1. Hi Dustin,

      Thanks for visiting and sharing a few thoughts.

      Pilates and yoga are closely related. Pilates is a Western invention that focuses on strength. Yoga is an Eastern invention that places greater value on flexibility. Yoga can help deepen your meditation practice, improve your flexibility, and help with balance. Pilates may be better for recovering after injury, improving posture and for core strength.

      For individuals with physical injuries, Pilates is a tried and tested method of reducing physical pain and recovering from injury. Yoga on the other hand, has often been used as part of mental and emotional rehabilitation.

      So that’s it in a nutshell, Dustin. Hope the information was useful.

      Are you thinking of taking classes ? You know this but remember if you do decide to practice one or the other, find yourself a good teacher, either on video or in the flesh, otherwise it will be a waste of time.

      Roy 

  2. “Oh my aching back”!
    I didn’t really realize how large the numbers or people suffering with back pain are?

    My wife and I (both getting to the end of 60s) do yoga at home for the very reason of alleviating back pain.

    We haven’t tried Pilates, and interesting enough, because I did think it was more for the more serious bend and stretch practitioners?

    We think the main advantage of the yoga we do is merely keeping our muscles stretched and pliable. Is that what pilates does, and do you think either really helps keep weight down?

    1. Hi Mike, thanks for calling in. Good to from you.

      My partner goes to her Pilates lessons every Monday. We’re also getting to the end of our 60’s but are strong believers in chronological and biological ages. Some are 60 going on 100 whilst others are 60 going on 20 🙂

      What I was going to say is that her classes are truly a place for all ages, male and female. We’ve heard of ninety year old folk doing Pilates (and Yoga), I kid you not, Mike. We have to listen to our bodies without a doubt. Should never over-do it. Cannot have blanket exercises for everyone. The basic exercise can be put out there for the class but it should be up to each of us to execute as we see fit. To choose gentle or vigorous. According to our levels of fitness.

      Yoga does exactly what you have said, Mike, and much more. We enjoy Pilates because it strengthens the body and is great for balance. We are great believers in having a strong core and Pilates is great for that. Love the Plank Exercises. (See my website for Basic Plank Exercises).

      There is no one thing that will help us lose weight. It’s rather a combination. Nutrition is a huge factor as is movement of any kind – including Yoga and Pilates. I am working on deflating my belly. This is my major physical goal. How am I doing it ?  Eating less (most of the time) , eating healthy (most of the time), watching my posture, Core exercises (ab trimmer, pilates), healthy snacking (most of the time), and using strategies from an excellent book which I bought.

      I wish you and your wife health and happiness, Mike. Take care of your back hey !

      Sincerely,

      Roy

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