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Pilates is a low-impact workout that strengthens the muscles, tones the body and improves posture and flexibility, among other benefits. Pilates expert and author of The Little Book of Pilates Rachel Lawrence shared how the workout can also help women over 50 look younger and achieve a more “vibrant appearance”.
For those women over the age of 50 who want to look and feel younger, Pilates can be highly beneficial to get a “youthful look,” the expert said.
Rachel explained that Pilates strengthens the core muscles, which include the muscles of the spine, abdominals, pelvic floor and glutes, “basically all the muscles that hold us upright”.
According to the Pilates guru, this will help women look slimmer and fitter as “there is nothing more youthful than great posture”.
According to the expert, Pilates is “the ultimate body conditioning exercise” because it creates both strength and flexibility in the body.
“The concentration of exercises gives women over 50 more muscle tone, a more streamlined appearance, and more flexibility and mobility in the joints, which results in a more youthful and vibrant appearance,” Rachel said.
For best results, the expert recommended “a shorter workout little and often rather than one weekly workout”.
This is “much more achievable” for busy women as well as for women in menopause who may have the aches, pains and stiffness that result from the change of hormones, she explained.
Rachel advised women over 50 “try and practice at least three to four times a week – that could be a local class combined with online practice with me from home on Youtube”.
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She continued: “Consistency is the key to change and great results. It is also a wonderful way to manage many of the symptoms of menopause that can really affect women’s mental health and well-being.
“Be consistent and you will see and feel great results,” she said and added that there are “lots of 10-30 minute workouts, all of which are free so all you need to do is roll out of bed, roll out your mat and begin”.
The best part is that Pilates can also help women lose weight, especially if they are going through menopause.
Rachel explained how: “Regular and consistent Pilates practice will build (and maintain) muscle.
“Active muscles, even at rest, will burn more calories so Pilates can help with weight control.”
She explained that during menopause, women lose muscle mass and strength at a much faster rate due to the loss of estrogen.
Therefore, “it’s important to do more weight-bearing exercise to compensate for this change and maintain strength”.
“Weight-bearing exercise will also burn more fat and in Pilates, all the exercises are low impact so kind to the joints and spine,” the expert added.
According to Healthline, some of the benefits of Pilates include:
- Increase in core strength
- Increase in energy
- Decreases stress
- Improves posture
- Improves flexibility and mobility
- Improves balance
- Improves sex life
- Boosts mood
- Improves sleep
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