Pilates and Teenagers
Pilates is such a flexible discipline that can be customized for any individual not matter how old or young. This unique feature allows Pilates to benefit even those going through the hormonal phase of life known as “the teens”. Possibly one of the most difficult phases for both teenager and parents. It’s often these years a parent experiences rebellion, defiance and overall an insecure young adult trying to find their place in the world. So how can Pilates be of assistance to the long suffering parent of a teen? In the article below we are going to look at how Pilates can add value both physically and mentally in not only the short term but also in the long run.
Movement is Medicine
Our lives have become so busy that even schools enroll children as young as 3 months old. Time has become an expensive commodity that very few can afford. As a result technology has become a solution to an entertainment problem. Instead of going to the park or running around in the street and playing, kids spend more time in front of a TV or computer. This lack of movement from a young age is seeing more and more youngsters needing occupational therapy due to poor muscles tone and back problems thanks to weak core muscles. If not dealt with early in life it can lead to further complications.
As you already know from our previous articles Pilates has a strong focus on the musculature of the core. By teaching youngsters to move from their powerhouse you are teaching them to move more efficiently. Exercises in Pilates such as rolling like a ball and roll-ups are fun and a great way to strengthen the powerhouse and lengthen the back muscles. Pilates can be fun and engaging whilst also being effective.
Develops Mental Fortitude
There is a lot of pressure on teens in today’s society. Competition in the sporting environment is especially high, and the pressure can be immense. ADHD, depression and anxiety are prevalent among the young. Just like Pilates helps to reduce stress in adults it can do the same for teenagers . The mind body connection necessary to execute Pilates exercises correctly can help develop better concentration and the movements in the repertoire help stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.
Pilates is a structured and disciplined form of training that has, as a philosophy the principles of patience, persistence and perseverance. These are principles for life not just for Pilates. By regularly practicing Pilates one can experience the results of being diligent and disciplined in all areas of life. Such mental fortitude will serve them well in life and its curve balls.
Preventing Injuries Early
Do you ever wish you had started Pilates well before you did? So many do. As a dancer I remember getting told to just push through any pain or discomfort. It seems this is not uncommon amongst many in similar disciplines. You pushed and pushed and if something hurt, well you put on a brave face. How many adults wish they had found Pilates prior to an injury? My point is that Pilates is not only rehabilitative but it is foremost a great form of training to prevent injuries and postural imbalances. The younger you get started the better.
Building Strong and Supple Muscles
The opportunity to build strong and supple muscles from a young age will only serve your physical body as one gets older. Many teenagers play sports and like everything today, the sporting environment is competitive. Teenagers can sustain debilitating injuries due to their body being pushed beyond its limit. Many develop arthritis brought on by a sporting injury. This is a scary thought, but it is sadly, a reality today. By doing Pilates teenagers strengthen the integrity of the muscles around the joints. Better support and control decreases the chances of injury and inflammatory conditions.
In conclusion Pilates builds a solid physical and mental foundation that will serve teenagers well beyond the confines of a studio. They will learn to listen effectively to their bodies and become more proactive in preserving health instead of “fast food” approach of medicating. A healthy body builds is a healthy mind and vice versa.