Pilates and Balance

When it comes to balance and our bodies, there is so much that we take for granted. The more we research and learn about how our nervous system interacts with our muscles and overall health, we come to realize how important it is to stay healthy and in shape, both muscularly and cognitively. Our muscles and senses are connected to our vestibular system, which means that it is one of the most important systems to properly maintain. As we age, we tend to move less, which causes the vestibular system to not be exercised as much and diminishes our ability to control and balance our bodies. This is where Pilates can directly affect our everyday lives.

Health Concerns with Balance Issues

As kids, we tend to throw caution to the wind as we play, running and jumping as though nothing could ever knock us down. The older we get, we notice that the balance we once had doesn’t seem to be as precise. Naturally, aging affects our bodies in many ways, balance being one of them. However, there are other issues that can arise from daily activities and bodily traumas that we take for granted. A simple ear infection, or an accidental fall during a game of tag, or even medications taken for other illnesses can cause a vestibular disorder. A case of the measles or chickenpox can cause vestibular neuritis. On a more extreme scale, tumors or hypothyroidism can also cause vestibular disorders. Symptoms of a vestibular disorder can include sudden dizziness with nausea, vomiting, and trouble walking, all supporting the fact that balancing is now very difficult.

Ways to Combat Vestibular Disorders

There are various way to combat vestibular disorders, which include vestibular rehabilitation therapy, dietary adjustments, medications, and even surgery. However, the simplest may also be one of the most effective: Home-Based Exercises. Think low impact aerobics and Tai Chi, both things anyone at home can do, even with minimal equipment or know-how. Adding some simple Pilates exercises can increase results, and we’ve listed some that can be accomplished at home or at a studio below.

Why Pilates?

As we’ve noted in previous blogs, Pilates works to improve stability and increase overall balance, promoting mindfulness throughout the entire form while encouraging awareness and presence in each posture and movement. The focus on such precise movements and the entire center of the body allows for greater core stability, and eventually, better balance. For those rehabbing an injury or within an elderly population, Pilates can be the perfect choice to regain that sense of normalcy once a foregone thought.

If you are dealing with a vestibular disorder or if you are just interested in starting your Pilates journey, contact Dynamic Fitness today to see how we can help!

Pilates Exercises to Consider for Vestibular Disorders

PLEASE NOTE: We are not physicians, so be sure to consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Click on any exercise to view a short video.

Various splits on the Reformer
Exercise 1 – Front Splits
Exercise 2 – Russian Splits
Exercise 3 – Side Splits

On the Pedi-pole
Exercise 4 – Pedi Pole (no video – see blog cover photo)
Exercise 5 – Plié on the Pedi Pole

Via Small Chair
Exercise 6 – The Wundra Chair

Via High Chair
Exercise 7 – The High Chair

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    The "Return to Life": Pilates after an Injury Recently the studio has received a lot of inquiries from people who are at their wits' end with fitness: "Nothing works." "I'm in pain every day." "I've tried everything I can think of.""Will Pilates help me?"For someone who suffers an injury or undergoes an operation, rehabilitating the body is critical to the healing process, which is still ongoing after physical therapy concludes. We meet many people who have been signed off as "all better" by their healthcare providers, but now are unsure what the next step is. The fact is, they don't feel all better. There's still a lot of work to be done. But after physical therapy, getting a gym membership isn't a solution. A lot of these people are wondering, "Where can I go?"We're so glad you asked! At Dynamic Fitness, we understand that someone recovering from an injury or surgery needs an exercise regimen that is careful, personal, and adaptable. A classical Pilates studio provides just such an environment. It's important that your physician has first cleared you for exercise before beginning a Pilates regimen. At Dynamic Fitness, we can only start working with new clients who are recuperating from surgery or an injury once their doctors can recommend physical exercise. Once you've passed this milestone, however, you're ready to discover a fitness method that can be just as gentle and safe as it is effective. The classical Pilates method includes over 300 motions, and this already broad vocabulary has the potential to explode when you work with an experienced, certified instructor. The instructors at Dynamic Fitness are deeply knowledgeable about modifications to each exercise that can accommodate the places that are still healing, while you continue to reap the benefits of a full-body workout.The Pilates apparatus are also designed for accessibility and refined control. Take, for example, the springs of the Reformer and Tower, with different weights to support or challenge the muscles depending on your needs. You can also get a lot of work done on the Cadillac, which in many ways resembles a traditional physical therapy or massage table. It's just the right height to make mounting and dismounting easy, and you can work out the entire body on its strong, stable frame. When you're going through physical rehab, all your energy and focus goes to the part of the body that you're trying to fix. In Pilates, we don't focus on the problem. Instead, we work with you to condition the body whole. Instead of thinking in terms of what is broken, we think in terms of what really works. Our clients tell us this makes a dramatic difference in achieving physical restoration and a feeling of radiant wellbeing.Have you reached your wits' end with fitness? Don't give up! Call or email Dynamic Fitness to discuss the challenges you're currently facing, and learn more about the power of Pilates to restore your body and rejuvenate your life.Contact us: https://www.pilates-sarasota.com/contact