Pilates to Reduce Risk of Osteoporosis

These days it is not uncommon to come across senior citizens exercising at the gym, in group fitness classes or in public parks. Whether it's slow paced tai chi or simply jogging, seniors are keen on maintaining their physical health. 

Another one of the more popular forms of exercise for seniors is Pilates. According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Pilates could improve the overall health of senior citizens including “physical, social, spiritual and emotional wellness.” The study also notes that the number of older people across the globe will soon account for 21% of the global population. This is evident, as senior citizens are one of the fastest growing demographics in the United States. A post on nursing degrees by Maryville University explains how the number of U.S. citizens over 65 grew by 15 million in just 16 years, perfectly illustrating this new reality – a reality that the healthcare and fitness industries will have to monitor closely in the coming years.

As people live longer there is an increased focus on how exercise can help  to reduce the risk of common aging health issues, such as osteoporosis.

Seniors with osteoporosis experience their bones becoming brittle and fragile as they age, which leads to a higher chance of bones breaking even from a small fall. This is especially problematic as a person’s sense of balance, vision and muscle mass break down naturally due to the hormonal effects of aging. The Conversation notes there are various preventative measures that can help. These include ensuring seniors get enough Vitamin D and engage in exercises designed to improve balance and retain muscle mass.

Pilates for Osteoporosis

Another option to prevent osteoporosis is Pilates for seniors. In an Everyday Health article, Pilates is lauded for the many ways it can help someone with weaker bones. This is by introducing exercises designed to strengthen the core muscles supporting the spine. Aimed at keeping bone structures in place and strengthening them, Pilates certainly makes for a great preventative measure. It can also improve balance and range of movement, reducing the chances of a fall.

But what if your clients already have osteoporosis?

Thankfully, Marguerite Ogle from Very Well Fit points out that Pilates can be easily adjusted to each person’s needs. She explains that even though Pilates could increase the risk of injury without proper supervision, a qualified instructor should have no problems making modifications to their classes. This will allow practitioners to improve their bone and muscle strength without hurting themselves or risking further injury.

If your student is newcomer to Pilates and exercise and has the symptoms of osteoporosis, it is best for them to first consult with their physician before starting any classes. The important thing though is not let your students be discouraged because of their age.

It's  worth noting that the inventor of the exercise, Joseph Pilates, practiced it until he was in his eighties.

As the saying goes: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Here at Insure Fitness Group we protect your Pilates career when you take on new clients, such as senior citizens. You should  make sure you are financially protected if you’re starting a Pilates course with students who may have conditions such as osteoporosis.

In the long run, stronger bones can mean the difference between simply recovering from a slight fall and having to pay thousands of dollars in hospital and recovery costs- that you, the Pilates instructor would be responsible for, without Pilates professional liability insurance. Learn more about Pilates insurance and how to get peace of mind here.

Article written by: Alicia Carter

Alicia Carter is a health and wellness writer who specializes in holistic and mindful exercising. She practices Pilates and yoga herself, and hopes that her passion for both can help readers of all ages improve their health.