08 Sep You’re only as young as your spine!
In the Pilates community, we hear versions of this quote all the time, and for good reason! Maintaining spinal strength and flexibility is the key to mobility and good health, but a culture of sitting instead of moving can make it hard to keep your spine supple. Since Pilates is about building deep core strength using low-impact exercise, it’s ideal for building and maintaining spinal health.
Improve Injury Recovery
The damage from a spinal injury can be difficult to deal with. You may be in constant pain or suffer from limited motor control in your arms or legs. Some who suffer from a low-back injury can also struggle with constipation or incontinence. At some point in your recovery, exercise will become a treatment option. But what exercises can you do? Building an exercise program with a knowledgeable Pilates instructor who will keep an eye on your form as you learn the exercises is a great way to build spinal health. Begin with private lessons with a knowledgeable teacher to get a solid foundation of sound movement patterns while learning to keep yourself safe.
Stretches Your Spine
Spending your day in a chair or behind the wheel of a car can compress your spine. If your musculature isn’t strong enough to maintain spaces between the vertebrae, you may suffer from pinched nerves, pain, or lethargy. The exercises in a Pilates routine are designed to build strength throughout your trunk, providing a solid support system around your spine. Even better, once you have mastered finding and using your center, every movement you do in life will feel more free, stable, and strong.
Pilates and Digestion
When you are recovering from a spinal injury, you may become hesitant in your movements to avoid reinjury or because some movements hurt intermittently. If you have to limit your walking time or shorten your stride, you may start to have digestive problems, such as bloating or constipation. Pilates exercises such as the abdominal series of 5 and shoulder bridge, can increase blood flow to the lower abdomen and get those muscles engaged and moving again to help you clear your digestive system.
Pilates was designed by a man who suffered a variety of childhood injuries and illnesses. His exercises don’t require a million reps, pulses, or heavy weights. Instead, they focus is on controlled, precise movements that help you to concentrate on your form and breathe as you flow from exercise to exercise. Pilates is a great course of exercise to start during your recovery and to keep doing as you heal. Begin your journey today!