How to Take Your Strength-and-Health Do-Over!
Power is not just personal and political; it’s also physical. I feel my strongest after a good pilates reformer session. As pilates teacher Amanda Vernor likes to say, “You can be nimble and strong at any age.” But the truth is, it gets more challenging to retain muscle mass and physical agility as we age. The day I read about how much muscle mass women lose after turning 40 was the day I hustled my butt into the pilates studio. I wish I had done it 20 years earlier.
Amanda runs Somaspace, a small Pilates studio in south Austin. The one-room studio is sunny, private, and quiet. The structure itself was built in the style of a chapel and features two gorgeous stained-glass windows. In that easygoing atmosphere, Amanda helps clients improve their strength, stamina, and flexibility so that they can move more easily in everyday situations. It’s pilates, but she also draws on her experience with yoga and dance.
I asked Amanda for her Top Four Tips for women over 40 who are looking to do a strength-and-health Do-Over! Here’s what she shared:
1. Take stock of your body. Make note of old injuries that still give you trouble, as well as aches and pains that linger after activity. Rehab and strengthen those areas with the help of a trainer.
2. Increase your strength. A well-rounded training program will show you how to build, and then recruit, your core strength. In time, the body’s joints and muscles will realign and reconnect with your core muscles. You’ll gain a stable, fluid, and strong body.
3. Check your bone density. If you are at risk for osteoporosis, find a trainer who can help you increase the activity of osteoblasts (cells that build bones).
4. Stretch. A moderately flexible body is not only easier to move around in, it also makes you look taller, more graceful, and, dare I say, younger!