Do older adults benefit from Pilates-based exercises? The application of Pilates as a geronto-prophylaxis – Indications, methodology and training effects
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Uniwersytet Medyczny im. K. Marcinkowskiego w Poznaniu
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Monika Kowalczyk   

Uniwersytet Medyczny im. K. Marcinkowskiego w Poznaniu
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2019;25(4):208–212
Physical activity is essential for seniors as it might improve quality of life and influence the physical and mental states. One of the serious physical disturbances in older adults concerns balance disorders and falls. Pilates is a method of exercises influencing the control of posture, and according to many authors is safe training recommended for seniors.

The aim of this study is to assess the current state of knowledge related to Pilates used by older adults, and to assess the actual trend with seniors in mind. Focus is directed especially on latest publications on the effectiveness of Pilates performed by the elderly from the different aspects of human life. An attempt is made to standardize the of application of Pilates in seniors.

According to reviews, Pilates is effective in improving static and dynamic balance in older adults, that might influence the reduction of the risk of falls. Improvement was observed in Pilates groups in comparison to no intervention, and other forms of training. It was found that Pilates training also improved lower limb strength, hip and lower back flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance. A new trend was observed in the beneficial effects of Pilates exercises on the mental health of older adults.

Due to the increasing need for maintaining optimal functioning in seniors, it is crucial to find a proper physical activity to apply in geronto-prophylaxis. Pilates influences beneficially on, i.a., balance and strengthening of muscles, as well as mental health. It can therefore be utilised in geronto-prophylaxis. In most publications, this training was performed 2–3 times a week with a single session lasting 40–60 minutes. However, the time of intervention varied from 4–16 weeks.

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