We’ve plenty of men and women coming through our doors here at Contour Pilates in Essex who are in their 40’s, 50’s and even their 60’s. Pilates doesn’t discriminate against ability, gender, fitness levels, flexibility, stamina or age. Quite the contrary, it embraces and celebrates all of them, and we absolutely encourage everyone to relish in whatever decade of life they’re at and join us in a Reformer class. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that Pilates is a must for anyone in the throes of their own midlife crisis! It’s cheaper than a fast car, and the rewards are deeply more gratifying.
Attitudes towards ageing have shifted
Our attitudes have significantly changed towards ageing, due in part to the fact that we’re living for so much longer than ever before. The concept of “Wellness” is a positive and ever growing movement that’s even being embraced in the workforce. What it means to be middle-aged has been turned on its head. Amen to that!
Midlife is to be positively celebrated
While the idea of a midlife crisis might still exist, it’s no longer borne out of fear that we’re has-been’s, past our sell-by date and destined to spend our days knitting or playing lawn bowls! Far from it. Midlife is positively celebrated. The barriers to entry have been smashed. Just take a look at our uber fit intructors. A lady never gives away her age but all except one of our instructors is over 40 with a couple (almost) hitting 50! They’re highly trained and will absolutely encourage you while ensuring you get the technique just right.
It’s all about the “fifty fitties”
Landmark birthdays now signal that our best years are still very much ahead of us. It’s not uncommon to see a 50-year-old in class out-planking someone in their 20’s. We happen to have some seriously “fifty fitties” at Contour who do themselves, the studio and our incredible instructors proud. We salute you. Who doesn’t love a bit of healthy competition and how satisfying must it feel to squash the stigma attached to midlife and instead show the world just how happy and healthy you really are?
Welcome to the phenomenon of 9-enders
We love that Pilates can positively help with a wide range of menopausal symptoms for a start, not to mention improve strength, build muscle and ward off both the physical and also the mental effects of ageing. As they say, age is but a number. Talking of which, there’s a new phenomenon called the 9-enders. Apparently, as one decade finishes and another is about to start, we’re more inclined and motivated than ever before to take up a new fitness challenge. So if you’re hitting 39, 49, 59 and yes, even 69 this year, why not give Reformer Pilates a go?
According to a recent study in the journal Neurology, “very fit” middle-aged women are a staggering 88% less likely to suffer from dementia. Not only does exercise help keep off the pounds, strengthen the body against age-related issues like osteoporosis, but it also keeps the brain more active.
Sadly, almost a third of all women in the UK are classified as being totally inactive. For many, that’s because they find the classic gym environment too intimidating or they’ve already written themselves off as being too fat and unfit to benefit from an exercise regime. That’s so sad and so wrong and something that we strongly advocate against at Contour Pilates.
Our studio is for everybody and every BODY
We want to help you shift those misconceptions about exercise and midlife and slowly begin to pay more attention to the body you do have, working with it at a pace that suits you to build strength, flexibility, stamina and control. So cast away that harsh inner dialogue that tells you that you’re too fat, unfit or old. They’re just excuses. Instead, visualise yourself doing a plank push up, and before you know it, that’s precisely what you’ll be doing in class. Now that’s the kind of midlife crisis we’re talking about.
The importance of resistance
You’ll notice we use lots of weights and resistance bands in our Reformer Pilates sessions. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not just because our instructors are evil and love inflicting pain! It’s because lifting weights and introducing resistance work helps to maintain bone density which is essential as women hit the menopause and oestrogen levels dramatically drop. One of the very best things that a forty-something man or woman can do is take up Pilates. As we look at frailty full square in the face, being thin goes out of the window. Instead being strong is what it’s all about. Plus, Pilates is also excellent at helping to keep ageing bodies mobile.
Prepare for a new lease of life
So if you are hurtling towards your own midlife crisis, or approaching a 9-ender this year and looking for something rewarding and challenging to get stuck into, why not give Pilates a go? We promise you’ll be in excellent company and who knows, you may discover not only a whole new lease of life but also muscles you never even knew you had!