Tag Archive for: senior exercise

Some people are either or people. I believe both have benefits for improving bone health.

When you add resistance to your routine, your muscles release calcium, magnesium,Ā and other minerals that strengthen your bones. Your muscles don’t know whether the resistance comes from bands or weights.Ā  Whatever you are more prone actually to do, that is the mode of choice.Ā If you dislike weights, go for bands.
I personally like mixing things up.

Here’s the thing, though, you need to really challenge yourself for change to occur.

With resistance training, it’s too light if you can breeze through 20 reps of an overhead press. You’re building endurance, not strength. You should feel “worked” after 10-12 reps at a given resistance (whether it be weights or bands) with excellent alignment and good breathing technique.

I tell Pilates teachers to load up the springs on the Reformer for leg work for their clients with osteoporosis. If the springs aren’t heavy enough, they won’t gain strength or bone. (of course, ensuring proper form)

The other thing to remember is that your bone health is not only a reflection of your exercise. It’s also a function of your nutrition, supplementation, daily activities, or lack of…it’s difficult to tease out.

I believe your best shot at optimal bone health is doing weight-bearing resistance and impact exercises, dancing, walking/hiking, sports you enjoy AND also addressing other factors in your life that support bone health. When appropriate, medications may be the right choice.

Most people want a multifactorial approach to their bone health. I get that. In many ways, we are our own laboratory.

I want to share this interesting study from researchers at the U. of Oregon demonstrating how training with resistance bands increases bone mineral density.

“It is sometimes difficult for sedentary people to change their habits, and going to a gym would be more difficult. ButĀ elastic bands offer an interesting alternativeĀ since they allow enough intensity to stimulate bone mass, and a multitude of exercises are possible. Regular practice ofĀ 2 weekly sessions involving work on the main muscle groups of the body will increase bone mineral density.”Ā Ā Here’s the research study

 

 

Picture of Teresa's hybrid Pilates classIn Pilates, you’ll often gain optimal results from an exercise when you make your movements smaller rather than larger.Ā  You’ll also gain more when you focus on theĀ principlesĀ of Pilates:Ā Concentration, Control, Centering, Breath, Precision, and Flow. It’s this attention to detail that makes Pilates a Mind-Body Practice.

As with most things in life, “less is more.”Ā  We live in a world where we drink from coffee cups large enough to fill our gas tanks, we eat muffins capable of feeding a family of four, fast food orders are supersized,Ā and Costco supplies us with enough peanut butter to last for years.

Bigger is not always better.

According to Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, “Thanks in part to the pandemic, many peopleā€™s exercise priorities have shifted from intense, calorie-burning workouts to activities that also foster a mind-body connection.”

Is Pilates as Good as Everyone Says?

The strength and flexibility workout is having a moment.

What can ā€” and canā€™t ā€” it do for us?Ā  Ā  Ā Enjoy this recent illuminatingĀ NYTimes article.

Click the video for details and find the meerkats!
This class is designed for those of us in the last and best third of our lives.Ā Incorporating the science of aging, the class is bone safe, spine safe, and joint-friendly. We challenge our nervous system through fun movement brain games to develop new neural pathways that improve balance, fall response time, and focus. We work on core, lower and upper body strength, we dance and we practice how to catch ourselves safely if we trip, to help prevent injury.

This class is appropriate for the beginner to advanced intermediate active ager.Ā Expect improved posture, injury prevention, coordination, core strength, flexibility, and balance with crossover benefits to your dailyĀ activities.Ā 

No prior Pilates experience necessary, just a willingness to learn and have fun.Ā To participate, you must be able to get up and down from a mat safely and independently.