What is Pilates?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”1977″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Pilates is a form of exercise that involves low impact, small controlled movements to target flexibility and muscular strength and endurance.

Originally named “Contrology”, Pilates was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates to rehabilitate WWI soldiers. It involves precise movements with an emphasis on alignment and breathing to strengthen key muscle groups and improve balance, coordination and stability in the entire body.

Traditional Pilates has a specific focus on developing a strong “core” (“core” consisting of the global and stabilising muscles around the abdomen, lower back and hips). From a rehabilitation point of view, our bodies have two muscular systems; a global muscle system and a stabilising muscle system. We usually do a fantastic job training and strengthening our global muscle system, however often neglecting the stabilising muscles. Unfortunately, over time this can lead to muscular dysfunctions and ultimately pain and injury. Pilates has a strong emphasis on correctly activating and isolating those smaller stabilising muscles that have been forgotten and left behind.

At Enhance Physiotherapy, our Pilates classes not only target “core” strength but also full body strength with the aim to just get our clients moving!  Our classes involve matwork exercises with various equipment to increase the intensity of the class.  Each exercise can be modified in difficulty from beginner to advanced and each class is tailored towards the specific goals or injuries of the clients attending.

Having recovered from an ACL reconstruction and more recently a lower back injury, I am a firm advocate of Pilates to assist in rehabilitating those important stabilising muscles essential for everyday movements and activities. Pilates has helped me tremendously to bounce back from injuries and to return to doing the things that I love faster and stronger. Now, I continue to practice and teach Pilates at least twice a week for injury prevention and maintenance, as I find it is a great way to enhance my other training and sports.

I strongly recommend Pilates classes to anyone rehabilitating back from an injury and looking to get stronger and fitter, and especially to those who may be injury-free and training to achieve that next level, goal or personal best!!

For more information regarding our group Pilates classes including prices and times, please call 9583 5165.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The benefits of clinical pilates

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”1809″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]In the last 10 years or so, Clinical Pilates has made its way into the lives of thousands of people, from those who want to keep fit or begin a safe fitness regime, to those who have undergone surgery or who are undertaking rehabilitation to best manage their medical conditions or injuries.

Clinical Pilates is a system of safe and effective exercises which meet your specific individual needs, when tailored by your Physiotherapist. It focuses on building strength in your deeper layer of abdominal muscles, your deep supportive spinal muscles and your hip/pelvic musculature. All of which improve your core strength, balance and stability.  Building a strong core foundation will allow your body to function at a higher capacity, improve your posture and reduce the incidence of pain and injury.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”1984″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Clinical Pilates is also used by elite athletes of all disciplines, including dancers to improve essential movement patterns and enhance fitness and performance, as well as assisting with injury prevention.  By working into your body’s preferred movement, Clinical Pilates improves your mobility, stability, balance, posture and overall function.

Now that we know Clinical Pilates can meet the needs of all individuals, here are some of the main benefits as recognised in the field of research:

  • Tones Muscles
  • Increases bone density
  • Improves your mobility
  • Improves balance reaction times
  • Improves the quality of movement, agility and flexibility
  • Prevents injury
  • Helps to resolve spinal pain or limb pain
  • Improves core stability and pelvic floor function.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”1978″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Tones Muscles & Increases bone density

Each exercise is working against the resistance of springs or body weight, thereby stimulating the production of cells to produce more bone in response to the controlled stressed placed on the skeleton.

Improves your mobility

Our walking and physical function are determined by our body’s ability to recruit our muscles in a specific, refined and efficient manner.  When we are reinforcing better muscle recruitment patterns, our body will be move more efficiently allowing greater mobility when walking, running, swimming or in any physical activity.

Improves the quality of movement, balance, agility and flexibility

There are exercises in Clinical Pilates that have different focuses, while still engaging the core muscles. There are dynamic movements to test and train your reflexes that will translate to improved reaction times, therefore assisting your balance and agility. Other exercises work specific muscle groups to the end of range thereby improving your flexibility. Finally, by controlling the motion, Clinical Pilates can fine tune the muscles to recruit in an optimised pattern.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”1980″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Injury Prevention

Clinical Pilates helps to resolve muscle imbalances that we may have by exercising in a balanced manner, thereby reducing the risk of injury to the body. With better use of core muscles to stabilise the trunk, our limbs have a more stable platform from which to operate and therefore reducing the risk of peripheral injury.

Resolution of Spinal and limb pain

A lot of spinal pain is attributed to the “bracing” or excessive contractions of our spinal muscles, thereby compressing the structures that are injured, inflammed and swollen, thereby causing increased pain. With better control of muscles around the trunk and pelvis and with more normal activation of muscles around these structures, we can eliminate pain from the spine.

Clinical Pilates is also used to rehabilitate the limbs, helping to tone and strengthen and therefore aid in the recovery of pain and injury.

Improved core stability and pelvic floor function

The technique used to engage the core muscles during the movement of Clinical Pilates also engages the pelvic floor muscles. The regular recruitment of these muscles enables them to strengthen.  Each exercise repeatedly targets the contraction of specific muscle groups and therefore tones the muscles that are recruited in the exercises.

In summary, there are many benefits in the use of Clinical Pilates for your body. For more information, speak with your treating Physiotherapist today.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”1977″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]About The Author: Sophie is a Physiotherapist from Drysdale in Victoria. She owns and operates the clinic Fresh Start Physiotherapy.


Tips for Healthy Ageing | Enhance Physiotherapy

How to Achieve Healthy Ageing in Just 3 Steps

Healthy ageing is crucial. But with the variety of changes that occur in your body, achieving it can be quite challenging. Well, you’ve been around longer than others, now is not the time to back down from a challenge.

But let’s get something straight.

  • Aging doesn’t necessarily mean disability or declining health.
  • It is not true that losing your memory is part of aging.
  • You’re not an old dog that can’t learn new tricks.

All you need to do is cope with the changes that come with old age and live life healthy and happy.

How do you do this exactly?

Tips for Staying Healthy as You Grow Older

Did you know that one way to prevent loss of mobility and prevent musculoskeletal injuries is to get active? Exercise is just one option, so you don’t need to sweat at the thought of subjecting your tired bones to physically taxing activities.

Greater physical and mental improvements will boost your vitality, prevent aches and pains, sharpen your memory, and boost your immune system. So why shy away from physical activities?

Before you exercise

  • Check with your doctor to ensure you are well enough to exercise and help determine which routines are good for you.
  • Choose an activity that you like so you will continue to do it on a daily basis.
  • Remember to start slow and work your way to a more intense exercise.

When exercise is hard, do Pilates

This is similar to yoga but focuses on your body’s core that includes your lower back, abdomen, oblique, and inner and outer thigh. It helps develop strength, muscular endurance, balance, coordination, flexibility, and good posture.

Considering that these things are what you need to stay mobile and healthy, practicing Pilates offers a great alternative to exercise.

Switch it up with yoga once in awhile

Slow and easy, with a focus on breathing and proper form, Yoga is one activity seniors can do to get active. Similar to Pilates, it also helps improve balance, boost mood, and sharpen memory. Certain yoga poses are suitable for a specific age. The Chair Pose and Tree Pose, for example, are suitable for people in their 50s, while the Cobbler’s Pose and Warrior 1 are for seniors in their 60s.

  • Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet is important at any age and should not change when you hair turns grey. What you eat, after all, will dictate how healthy your body is. Because your metabolism will slow down and your sense of taste and smell will change, you may need to adjust the ingredients in your menu to add more high-fibre vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

You also need to ensure your food not only looks good but tastes good as well. If your appetite is lacking, presentation and taste can make a huge difference.

It would also help if you eat with others. If you live in an aged care facility, mingle with other seniors and make meals a social event.

  • Get lots of shut-eye

It is a fact that sleep problems increase as you age. In fact, many older adults complain about insomnia, frequent waking at night, and daytime sleepiness. If you are experiencing the same thing, you should change your sleeping habits.

  • Develop bedtime rituals that can help you wind down. Play soothing music or take a warm bath.
  • Make your bedtime the same time that you feel tired. Even if it seems too early to go to bed, you should adjust accordingly.
  • Increase the level of activities you do during the day, because being too sedentary will result in you not feeling sleepy. For a good night’s sleep, do regular aerobic exercises 3 hours before bedtime.

Most importantly, make sure that your bed is comfortable, your bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark, and you use low-wattage bulbs to naturally boost your melatonin levels.

Physical activities, a healthy diet, and a good night’s sleep are all you need to stay healthy in your old age.