A common misconception about Pilates is that you have to be young and fit to do it. Wrong. The truth is, Pilates is for everyone. Low impact and gentle on the joints, every exercise can be modified to suit people of every age and ability.

Pukka Pilates instructor Jo Fernandes specialises in Pilates for Older Adults. Here, she talks about the benefits of Pilates for the older adult and what you can expect if you sign up for one of her Chair Pilates classes.

“I have always loved teaching the older age groups throughout my years of being both an Exercise to Music and Pilates Instructor. Age should not be a barrier to exercise and I have so many more older adults attending my classes now as people are living longer than ever before and staying fitter and active well into their senior years.

Pilates is a brilliant exercise option for older adults as it works on increasing strength and flexibility without having the impact on the body that other forms of exercise do. With the focus on controlled breathing and quality of movement, it’s a great way to stay fit and healthy into old age.

In my Chair Pilates classes, I work on improving mobility, strength, coordination and balance with my clients. The chair is great as it makes Pilates accessible to people that are injured, unsteady on their feet, or have trouble getting on and off the floor (for mat Pilates). Older adults in particular enjoy working with the chair as it provides support, stability and feedback to the body as they execute the moves.

There is a lot of attention on co-ordination and stability in the classes – both of which are crucial for improving functional movement such as balance while standing and walking, as we get older.”

You can find out more about Jo and book a Pilates class via her website: www.jofernandespilates.co.uk

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