Middle-aged women who perform Pilates exercises have better motor control: Study

Exercise is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, but as people age, they tend to become more inactive. One of the effects of reduced physical activity is poor motor control. Researchers from the University of Birjand and Imam Khomeini International University evaluated the potential effects of Pilates on the motor control of middle-aged women.

  • As people age, they start to experience changes in their body composition, which includes an increase in body fat mass and muscle weakness.
  • An increase in body fat in the abdominal region causes the spine to curve, which leads to back pain, poor posture, increased risk of falling, and reduced mobility.
  • Pilates is a type of exercise that is focused on improving physical conditions, such as strength, endurance, flexibility, and brain health, which includes attention and concentration.
  • In this study, which was published in Sleep and Hypnosis, the researchers determined the effects of doing Pilates three times a week for four months on the motor control of middle-aged women. The participants chosen for this trial were previously inactive women between the ages of 40 to 50 who have a body fat percentage and waist-hip ratio over 35 and 95 percent, respectively.
  • The parameters used by the researchers to evaluate improvements in motor control include the percentage of body fat, waist-hip ratio, visceral fat, walking speed, and dynamic balance.

The results of the study show that Pilates improves body composition, walking speed, and dynamic balance. From these results, the researchers concluded that Pilates can be used to improve motor control, as well as the gait and posture, of elderly people.

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Journal Reference:

Seghatoleslami A, Afif AH, Irandoust K, Taheri M. THE IMPACT OF PILATES EXERCISES ON MOTOR CONTROL OF INACTIVE MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN. Sleep and Hypnosis – International Journal. December 2018. 20(4) DOI: 10.5350/sleep.hypn.2018.20.0160

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