Looking to strengthen/tone your middle? Regardless of age or physical limitations Pilates is one of the best ways to strengthen your abdominals. As a bonus, you'll also increase your flexibility and range of motion, and for those of you with back pain; Pilates is proven to reduce/eliminate back pain.
Pilates is about making a connection with your core and challenging that connection with the movement of the arms and legs through the different exercises. There are different levels; from beginner to advanced. All ages can do Pilates. My oldest client at 88 started Pilates at 80!
There are many different ways to do Pilates. Mat classes are offered in many locations but beware of the instructor who took a weekend course and is now teaching others. Ask for information about their training. I recommend mat classes for people who are already fit without back pain. These exercises are done on a mat and you have to be strong enough to move your body through the different exercises.
The Pilates apparatus is a good way to improve your fitness without risk of injury. The bars/springs take the stress off of your spine/joints. There are hundreds of exercises (you'll never get bored). There are several pieces of equipment; reformer, cadillac, chair, barrels, etc. Some large, some small.
A good instructor will take a medical history and discuss with you your goals. Then the two of you will make a plan for how to accomplish your goals. There is an art to motivating people to reach their goals safely (and hopefully have some fun on the way!)
If you have any questions about Pilates or exercise in general, feel free to contact me at: www.pilatesworksinc.com or call 508/655-1178. It's never to late to move your body and improve your health and wellbeing.