Increasing Muscle Mass Will Help Your Balance, Flexibility And Stamina
Strength training is a good idea when we are young, and studies show it is a better idea as we age. Pilates can supply both stamina exercises and other important age defying benefits that are needed such as balance and flexibility.
I was recently asked about the oldest person I had ever trained. I related the story of Elsa, a client from my days in a New York Pilates studio.
Elsa, at the time, was 92 years young. She was a Holocaust survivor, a lovely petite woman, and an avid ice skater. She walked everywhere in New York, where she lived with her younger 89 year old sister. She and I became friends and we would have long talks about art and movies and her amazing life.
We had a regular strength training routine and stretching exercises that we did every week when she came for her Pilates session. She would ride the stationary bike for ten minutes after her session was over and then continue on with her day.
How did she do it? She managed to keep fit, healthy, active and vital well into her eighties and nineties.
As we age, we lose 3-5% of our lean muscle mass for every decade after the age of 25. If that isn?t enough information to get you started, I don?t know what is! Humans have a remarkable ability to continue gaining strength. We just need to work at it.
Under a microscope, the muscle fiber of a twenty year old looks like that of a seventy year old. Studies have proven that we can indeed start a strength training routine later in life, even if we haven?t ever had one before.
Muscle mass isn?t the only loss age delivers. Loss of balance, flexibility and stamina also wane during the aging process. Pilates is available to all ages at any level of fitness and can help to restore the losses of age.
My Grandfather lived to be 96 and lived at home in good health to the very end. What always struck me about him was his never- ending optimism. He never thought about his age. He never let life get him down and he certainly kept active all his life. Herein lies the key.
A sunny disposition, an active lifestyle, and a social network can certainly help in adding years and joy to your life. Add a little luck from the gene pool and there you are.
Strength training is an important piece to any healthy lifestyle, and it?s never too late to reap the benefits of regular exercise.
The one you will stick with and do regularly. That is the better exercise for you. Try them both and find out for yourself just how amazing both Pilates and Yoga are.
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