Pilates is an easy form of exercise for children to learn. Mat classes involve a range of stretches and exercises often using small equipment such as the magic circle and Pilates ball.
My 3 children absolutely love Pilates and the benefits I see for each of them is different. My eldest has very bad flexibility and Pilates has helped him massively with injury prevention whilst playing rugby and football, my middle son is a gymnast so very strong and flexible, Pilates has taught him the mind body connection which helps him with his gymnastics and my daughter is a dancer and tennis player, she is only 8 and her body awareness is incredible thanks to Pilates.
The other benefit I notice for all of them is posture awareness, most children including mine spend far too long sitting down, hunched over devices, Pilates teaches them best practice when sitting and standing. At the end of each class Anita also spends some time encouraging the children to be mindful and really concentrate on breathing techniques. My middle son really struggled with this at first saying his mind wondered to other things, he now knows it’s a skill to be able to centre your body and mind and that it takes practice.
Pilates isn’t only for active children. You can read below to find out how Pilates can benefit everyBODY. I hope my children continue to enjoy the benefits of Pilates well into adulthood.
PILATES OFFERS A RANGE OF BENEFITS FOR CHILDREN:
The poses practised in Pilates help to maintain flexibility in children’s muscles and tendons. This is useful if they wish to participate in other sports such as ballet and gymnastics, and is also great for their overall fitness!
Pilates works on strengthening the core muscles of the body – helping children to conserve their energy, as well as keeping them lean and improving their athletic performance.
The focus required in Pilates is a great skill to learn and can transfer to the classroom. It’s also helps to give participants mind space.
With many children spending hours staring at a screen each day, they slouch. This can lead to a range of back problems in later life, Pilates can help to correct this! Children that participate in Pilates classes have better spinal alignment and posture.
Pilates is for everyone and is a lovely, safe, non-competitive form of exercise for the body and mind.
You can book Pilates classes for children aged 8-16 every Thursday at 6pm with Merton Health & Fitness HERE
Contributor: Najat Stefka | Mertonhealthfitness.co.uk