I’ve recently had an interesting observation. The notion, by typically younger people, that Aging Strong Pilates® is for the elderly, an unchallenging gentle workout.
Yesterday I substitute taught a Pilates class for a fellow teacher at Stanford and after class, one of the participants, in his 30’s, asked if I teach other classes there because he really liked the class. When I mentioned that I teach “Aging Strong Pilates” at Stanford, his reaction was a mix of “is that a senior class and “is that an easy class”? I clarified that it’s exactly what he just experienced and enjoyed in the class I just taught.
Here’s what 2 reviewers have said about of my Aging Strong DVD’s:
“I am in my 40s and I love these exercises. They are gentle but they can really be killers! ”
“The teacher is very thorough in her explanations however, some of the exercises are much more difficult than I expected. Since it is called Aging Strong, I erroneously assumed it was for older people at more of a beginner level.”
I want to paint a clear picture of exactly WHO Aging Strong Pilates is for (both in my group classes and on my DVD’s) and how it’s unique.
Let’s start with “Who is aging?”
Is it people over 40?, over 60?, over 80?
It’s none of those answers…we are ALL aging. Aging is integral to human development yet society fears it, even dreads it. There comes a point in our development where we lose that false sense of omnipotence. Perhaps we’re the victim of repetitive stress injuries, back pain, joint stiffness, chronic illness…you name it. At that point when you realize you’re not invincible, that you need to “train” to get older, that’s the time to try Aging Strong Pilates®. That actual age will be different for everyone as we are all genetically and biomechanically unique. That’s why people in my classes range from their 30’s through 80’s and they all get a challenging yet safe movement experience.
How is Aging Strong Pilates different from other Pilates DVDs?
Aging Strong Pilates targets the areas of our body susceptible to decline as we age including but not limited to, the hips and legs, the spine and balance. I’ve designed the program in a way that is modified for those with bone density issues and other conditions commonly associated with aging, to keep you safe yet challenged.
Pilates classes have an abundance of flexion based (rounded spine) exercises that are ill advised for those with low bone mass and many other diagnoses. These workouts keep you in a safe range of motion that will still have you trembling but keep you out of pain. There’s also a focus on standing weight-bearing functional training. The workouts are by no means easy but you’re guided with clear demonstrations and verbal cues.
As I reflect on my own aging, perched at the threshold of entering my 6th decade next month, I notice the changes in my body, I’ve got more grays in my hair (that I still color), more wrinkles on my face and my neck is starting to look like a Shar Pei…but you know what…I don’t FEEL old and really, isn’t that what matters? I actually feel strong and flexible with abundant energy, a passion for teaching and a purpose in life. I’m grateful for my health, family, friends and you!
Studies show that the second half of life brings more happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction then the days of youth. I’m passionate about helping you meet those years head on with strength, vigor and health!
There is nothing like the stretch-eze® to give you feedback while you do your Pilates work to build bone and reverse #osteoporosis.
This individual nylon lycra stretch band developed by dance/movement therapist Kimberly Dye, is used for resistance and stretch exercises. Wrap it around your shoulders and put in your feet. Feel snug, supported, and able to press into the resistance to create a cleaner access to the intrinsic core muscles with no build up of tension.
The benefits realized from using the Stretch-eze ® resistance band are:
- supported and pain free exercise
- increased ligament strength at the joints
- increased overall body coordination
This video explores the opposite arm leg reach with the stretch-eze® to enhance connection in your body and provide sensory feedback. You can purchase a stretch-eze® on my website!
No matter your stage in life, keeping fit is essential to doing the things you love with ease, power and grace. In this class, you’ll increase body awareness and learn healthy functional movement strategies grounded in science. Expect improved posture, injury prevention, coordination, core strength, flexibility and balance with crossover benefits to your daily sports and activities. This class is appropriate for beginner to advanced intermediate levels. If you have low bone density, weight bearing exercises are incorporated and safe mat variations will be offered.
Please bring your own mat. Various small props are used to enhance your movement experience. Also bring a resistance band and 9 inch inflatable ball if you have them. Balls are offered free of charge to new participants. Low allergy/low latex 5 ft resistance bands are available for purchase in class for $10. Free video links will be made available for participants to encourage consistency of practice. The instructor, Teresa Maldonado Marchok, is a licensed physical therapist, certified Pilates instructor, former professional dancer and ambassador for American Bone Health. She believes exercise should be challenging yet fun so bring a flexible mind, open heart and be prepared to laugh! For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To foster a safe, cohesive and consistent environment, drop in sessions are not permitted, however a trial class at no initial cost for newcomers is allowed if the class is not full already.
6. When walking, look down with your eyes only. Don’t tilt your head down as it will alter your balance and increase your chances of falling. Look down with your head and you may go splat.
5. Wear sensible shoes with good traction. That doesn’t have to mean ugly, luckily shoe stores like Footwear Etc. carry sensible shoes that are stylish too!
4. Take your time, be mindful and don’t rush, especially if you’re dealing with winter snow and ice.
3. Keep exercise a consistent part of your life. Strong muscles in your legs and core can help you regain your balance if you lose it momentarily and strong arms can help you decelerate and cushion a fall should you take a tumble. Self foot massage with a half tennis ball, is safer than a full ball and improves circulation, proprioception and because of increased spacial awareness, improves balance.
2. Remember that it is far easier and more fun to prevent a fall than it is to recover from a broken bone. Practicing BoneSmart Pilates® for 15 minutes three times per week can help you prevent an accident that could take you years to recover from, and could reduce your quality of life permanently.
1. Top tip: Always use handrails! This year I ruptured my rotator cuff for not doing so on icy steps in NY. My daughter broke a bone this summer falling downs stairs in our home because our handrail was missing due to renovations.
This is a common question I hear. With so much focus on sitting and electronics, kids’ posture and their bodies, are paying a heavy toll. I call it “iposture” and it’s ubiquitous. The good news is the majority of Pilates matwork is beneficial for and adaptable to kids.
My daughter Katelyn recently presented a school research project about the benefits of Pilates. See her demonstrating the mat exercise “Rolling Like a Ball” which targets core strength, spine flexibility, control, precision, breath and flow.
The chart below is a nice way to explain Pilates to kids. (courtesy of the PMA)
Falling can happen to anyone. I fell on some icy steps in 2015, and shared this video, so you could see how I worked out 1 week after surgery, with one arm that basically didn’t move!
Teresa fell HARD on icy steps in NY. Though her bones are healthy and remained intact, she sustained a full rupture of a rotator cuff tendon, one of the key players that stabilizes the arm bone in its socket.
So you know that she “walks her talk”, this video clip gives you a sneak peek into what she can and can’t do 1 wk after rotator cuff surgical repair. Even with her shoulder out of commission, the versatility of Pilates allows her to stay strong and agile providing healing circulation and feel good endorphin release to all parts of her body. She’ll also let you in on the little she can do with her arm out of her sling.
Can you guess her secret to maintaining sanity in the middle of her sleepless nights? Watch the end to find out!
With 55 people in attendance and a long wait list, Teresa shared her key secrets to Aging Strong and included plenty of science, practical demonstrations from volunteers in the audience and a rousing dance that got everybody up and moving. “It was both helpful and fun, I brought 5 friends and they all raved about it!” ~Katy D. “Your presentation was great-like Live Dr. Radio!” ~Mercy F. “I am shocked how slumped I was sitting & immediately am sitting straighter” ~Elayne M. See a Sneak Peak of Aging Strong in Action
Save the Date: FREE Workshop April 20
Where: East West Bookstore, 324 Castro St., Mountain View
Learn how to strengthen your body and reduce your risk of falls, simply by changing the way you move. If you have spine issues, bone loss, or just don’t feel as strong or steady as you’d like, this interactive workshop is for you.
Teresa Maldonado Marchok, PT, is a licensed physical therapist, certified Pilates instructor, and representative for the national organization American Bone Health. Her award-winning DVD, BoneSmart Pilates®: How to Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis, is helping people worldwide. A free inflatable exercise ball and handout are included only if you register by Apr 19. Call 650-988-9800
|Pilates for Boomers
5:30 PM-6:30 PM
Instructor: Teresa Maldonado Marchok
Location: Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (AOERC), Studio 111
|REGISTRATION STARTS 03/18|
| BeWell Fitness Berry
Category: Fitness : Pilates Mat/Healthy Back
Levels: All Levels
|Fee: 110.00 (BeWell Fee: $30) , STAP/EA Funds: No
Class Code: pfb-01