“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.” – Joseph Pilates, in 1965, age 86.
I (Lydia Mc Tamney, physiotherapist at The Body Refinery) recently had a delightful 90-year-old lady come into the studio, looking for physiotherapy treatment and Pilates. It made me realise that the message is finally getting out there and people are understanding – Pilates isn’t just for the young, fit and female! It is for everyone. More and more now, we have a wide range of abilities and ages using our services at The Body Refinery, and it’s fantastic!
Joseph Pilates, the clever man that he was, who originally called Pilates ‘Contrology’ said, “The Pilates Method teaches you to be in control of your body and not at its mercy.”
Pilates has a great place in the rehab of the elderly as it focuses on:
- All over body strength using as much or as little resistance as is required
- All over flexibility
- Balance and coordination
- Weight-bearing of the legs and arms, vital for building bone density and preventing osteoporosis
- Function eg. getting out of a low chair, climbing stairs
- Improved lung capacity and circulation
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we are also able to cater for the more able, athletic or sports person. It is great to see an increasing number of men come into The Body Refinery. ‘Real men do Pilates’ is an increasingly used subject heading in social media and health magazines, and for good reason. The photo of Joseph Pilates demonstrates why.
No longer is Pilates seen as a ‘gentle stretching exercise for women’, or as just a recovery tool for the athlete, but as part of the training program. Pilates can be used to highly challenge even the fittest and strongest, making a real difference to sports performance.
Due to the use of multiple pieces of equipment, our Physiotherapists and Pilates instructors can adapt exercises to suit your current level of function, whatever that level is. So wherever you are at, don’t wait for ‘that injury’ or until you are in pain. There are no excuses. I wish everyone did Pilates, as I truly believe it’s the answer to a lot of our problems!
Written by Physiotherapist, Lydia McTamney
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