Unfortunately today’s children are the most inactive generation in history. Computer technology and non-playful movement stimulate this generation of kids. As a result, many parents have concerns regarding their children’s physical condition and self-confidence – as well as the lack of programs available at fitness facilities or schools that specifically target core strength, coordination, balance and flexibility. This is where Pilates comes into play, literally. Pilates is the very form of exercise that works the entire body with emphasis on function for overall health.
Pilates is designed for both the non-athletic child as well as the competitive teen and is a smart way of getting children to participate in exercise because it caters to their various ages, fitness levels, and athletic abilities.
Benefits of Pilates for Children
- Perhaps the most important benefit for children is increased focus. Being able to centre the breath, hold various positions for a certain amount of time, and concentrate on mind-body fitness – are cornerstones for youths to challenge their energies into one activity. Pilates does exactly this and more.
- Pilates improves the way the body functions, looks and feels – and knowing one’s body inside and out can lead to greater self-esteem.
- Pilates also helps prevent injury on the playground or on the court – and is the basis for improving posture and increasing strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
- Pilates can assist with weight management issues in younger people because it strengthens and lengthens core muscles without adding bulk, so children can learn to love their bodies no matter what.
- This form of fitness provides the perfect physical and mental platform necessary for children to excel in sports and in school.
At Pilates Dynamics, we work closely with Occupational Therapists to ensure that each child achieves the best possible outcome from their Pilates sessions.
Occupational Therapists often refer children to do Pilates to improve neuromuscular training and restore physical function. A Pilates routine entails controlled, smooth movements, which improves posture, core strength, stamina and flexibility.
A combination of OT and Pilates is hugely beneficial to children with the following pathologies :
- birth injuries or birth defects
- low muscle tone
- injury prevention
- assistance in improving the ability to perform tasks well in daily life and school environments
- sensory processing disorders
- traumatic injuries (brain or spinal cord)
- mental health or behavioural problems
- broken bones or other orthopaedic injuries
- developmental delays
- post-surgical conditions
- multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other chronic illnesses