Older people need Pilates lessons for their birthday

“Older people need Pilates lessons for their birthday instead of chocolates”, says Diana Moran, the ‘Green Goddess’ exercise guru from BBC breakfast TV in the 1980s.

She has recently co-written a book, Sod Sitting, Get Moving! with Prof Sir Muir Gray, clinical advisor to Public Health England. Prof Gray urged older people to find exercise classes that they enjoy, and to walk everywhere if they can. He says:

“We have this thing where, if our elderly mum is getting on and she can’t get to the shops any more, that we go and help her. This is completely wrong. We need more activity with every year that passes.”

Click to read more in this article from the Telegraph.

Sarcopenia and Exercise

Sarcopenia is a disease associated with the ageing process. It leads to loss of muscle mass and strength, which in turn affects balance, gait and overall ability to perform tasks of daily living. This news clip sent in by a client, describes a study that found that exercising in middle and old age can help “turn back time” and reduce the risk of falls. Click the image to read it full size.

Pilates quotes: A few well-designed movements…

Joseph Pilates said:

“A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion.”

He believed that his methods offered a more targeted and efficient route to physical and emotional wellbeing than other exercises methods performed without the same emphasis on good technique.

GPs should prescribe dance instead of drugs

GPs should start prescribing social activities, including dancing, instead of doling out a pill for every ill, health chiefs say after research found it cut GP visits and trips to Accident and Emergency units by more than a quarter. A recent article in the Telegraph says:

“Research shows half of pensioners now take at least five drugs a day – with levels quadrupling in two decades.”

“Around a fifth of patients visit their GP for “social problems” such as loneliness, confidence issues, housing worries and debt, doctors say.”

Social prescribing  “gives people time and works on what really matters to them,” said Bev Taylor, leader of NHS England’s social prescribing programme.

You need not wait for your GP to prescribe a social activity for you. Contact me if you’d like to take up Pilates or join my Fitsteps dance workout class now!

Read the full article.

2018 Fitness Trends

Pilates features in a Telegraph article about next year’s fitness trends.

“Instead of mindlessly smashing HIIT sessions in the gym, we’re going to slow down the pace with LISS training and Pilates.”

“Pilates has been around since the start of 20th century, but men are finally starting to take it seriously. Perhaps spurred on by reports that Andy Murray, the All Blacks and Tiger Woods all use Pilates, or the fact that around 80 per cent of us will suffer from back pain, there has been a rise in men signing up.”

Personally, I don’t regard Pilates as a trend, but rather an essential part of a healthy life. I had done a lot of dance and yoga, but it wasn’t until I started Pilates in 1999 that I felt real changes in my posture, strength and endurance. Joseph Pilates kept practising and teaching throughout his life and I hope to do the same.

Read the full article 2018’s biggest fitness trends, tried and tested.

Pilates for the Older Adult

I am happy to report that I recently gained a certificate from Active IQ in Level 3 Physical Activity and Health Considerations for the Older Adult.

Although we slow down and lose strength and flexibility as we age, by keeping physically active we can delay the aging process by 10-20 years.

Benefits of physical activity for the older adult include:

  • Disease prevention – Reduces the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, stroke and type II diabetes. Helps with weight loss. Slows loss of bone density.
  • Health promotion – Maintains mobility. Slows the loss of muscle mass, increases or preserves muscle strength.
  • Preservation of function – Improving strength, balance and co-ordination reduces the risk of falling and therefore fractures; and maintains the ability to perform activities of daily living.
  • Quality of life – Improves mood and reduces anxiety. Better physical wellbeing can increase self-esteem and may help with aspects of cognitive function. Keep fit classes are an opportunity to socialise.

Pilates is a good choice for older adults, because it can help with all the above, especially mobility, strength, endurance, balance and co-ordination. All the exercises can be adapted to the needs of the individual.

Read the NHS Physical activity guidelines for older adults, which include a recommendation for “strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)”.

Pilates celebs: Debbie McGee

If you are alaready a Strictly and Pialtes fan, you won’t be surprised to learn tath Debbie’s impressive flecibility an dcore strength comes from her regular practiec of yoga and Pilates.

“Combined with Pilates ensures that McGee’s core is strong and her posture is perfect. Celebrity Pilates instructor Lynne Robinson told The Telegraph earlier this year that while you burn more calories doing a cardio workout, “Pilates gives you the opportunity to shape and sculpt your body.”

Read more in this article from The Telegraph.




The Worst Thing for a Bad Back is too Much Rest and Relaxation

80% of us will suffer from a bad back at some point in our lives and many of us feel that we should rest until it recovers – but this can actually make things worse because unused muscles get stiff and harder to get moving normally again.

This article from the Telegraph describes the writer’s experiences after he hurt his back playing golf and describes these do’s and don’ts in more detail:

  • Don’t stay in bed
  • Do keep moving
  • Choose the right exercise for you
  • Don’t rush into surgery
  • Don’t be afraid to lift things

Click the image to read the full article.

Why dancing is good for you!

Dancing is one of the most enjoyable ways to get moving. As well as lifting your spirits, it also has some major health benefits.

The NHS website says “Regular dancing is great for losing weight, maintaining strong bones, improving posture and muscle strength, increasing balance and co-ordination, and beating stress.”


  • is fun
  • a cardio workout
  • socialable
  • it keeps your brain sharp
  • it’s gentle on your body because you move in a variety of ways and you can slow down or speed up to suit yourself
  • anyone can do it
  • it can improve your balance
  • you don’t need a lot of equipment

So while you’re having fun moving to music and meeting new people, you’re getting all the health benefits of a good workout.

Come along to my Fitsteps classes and find out for yourself how much fun getting fitter can be!