The physical movement modality developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1930’s, has been, and continues to be one of the BEST exercise forms for people with Parkinson’s. One of the reasons for this is that Pilates exercises all involve the use of mental activation and focus. The movements all address stability, mobility and cognitive function, which results in a healthier brain at ANY age!
It is sometimes easy to forget that we have control over our health. No matter how much we like to blame genetics, they are only responsible by 20%. About 80% of our health comes from our movement patterns, food, sleep, stress, higher purpose, and connection. We have something called transgenerational epigenetics which is responsible for our traits, but our lifestyle can influence these epigenetic mechanisms. We are in a position to turn on and off these predispositions by our choices. Our physical and cognitive health declines by the increase of stress, which increases inflammation. The mind-body exercises of Pilates helps to turn off the ‘fight-or-flight” response in the brain. This increases the parasympathetic nervous systems which destresses and relaxes the body.
There are considered eight functional movement patterns that one should experience every day.
- Gait (walking)
- Sit to Stand
- Reaching (pushing and pulling)
- Bending, front and side
- Contralateral movement
- Postural balance
- Dynamic balance
In addition, Core, Spine and Calf strength are very important. These are some of the first muscles to get weaker as we age.
Each Pilates sessions addresses all 8 of these including Calf strength and core strength which is quintessential to Pilates. Trust yourself, or your instructor to be present, to guide you, and support you to an increased level of function and fitness.