Tag Archives: old age

Music key to mental health in old age

Maintaining our mental health with music

As a qualified musician, as well as writing this blog about mental health, I was very interested to read recently about a Scottish study that suggests playing a musical instrument can have lifelong mental health benefits — including staving off dementia.

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University compared the mental agility of musicians and non-musicians aged between 60 and 88 in memory and spatial reasoning tests. Those who played an instrument completed tasks up to 25% more quickly.

Professor Alan Gow, who led the study, published in scientific journal Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition, said it “highlighted that learning and playing a musical instrument may be associated with cognitive differences in older age, and supports musical activity as a potentially cognitively protective lifestyle factor”.

I have written many times about the simple things that we can do that can have a lasting impact on our mental health, and learning or playing an instrument can also bring a lot of joy. But maybe talk to your neighbours before you start playing the drums…
Chris Hunt ACII is qualified in rehabilitation, Pilates, meditation, personal training, NLP, and Thai Massage. Contact Chris here or for more information about simple and free wellness advice click on www.pilatesevo.com

Can you ever be too old for Pilates?

Chris Hunt Pilates

Can you ever be too old for Pilates?

The population is getting older, we are living longer and longer. I have had the pleasure of teaching many people who are in what would traditionally be considered their later life.  In the UK Pilates Rehab Limited helps many elderly people to improve and sustain a quality of life that they thought had been lost.

So my opinion is you are never too old to do Pilates, and this is shared by 90 year-old Celia Pemberton who got a birthday surprise last week at her Pilates class in the UK.

She was laying one her mat relaxing at the end of the session with her eyes closed, when her teacher crept out to return with presents. “And when I opened my eyes, I saw the most wonderful cakes in chocolate, and Bucks Fizz and flowers and vouchers for the theatre,” Celia said.

The reason for all the fuss was that Celia had just celebrated her 90th birthday. She’s the oldest person in the class, and she has been doing pilates for about eight years. She took it up, like many other people, on medical advice after suffering from the brittle bone condition osteoporosis.

“It’s marvellous for mobility and general strengthening,” she says. She says she enjoys the class partly because of the “tremendous range of ages – from yummy mummies up to me. I’m the oldest person by many years.”

Celia says she’s always kept fit, and so have her three children – “well, I say ‘children’, but the oldest one is going to be 65 soon”. Her other keep-fit activities are “gardening, walking – and not living in a bungalow”.

She is clearly a special woman, and it got me thinking who old is the oldest person you teach Pilates? I believe that no one is too old to do Pilates; do you agree?

The Pilates system that we all love can give pleasure and improve the quality of life for an amazing range of people.

UPDATE 22.10.2014!!

Today I found out about Sam Heggessey, a great-grandfather who enjoys yoga, pilates and tai chi has been labelled Britain’s oldest gym buff after celebrating his 100th birthday! Can anyone beat 100 years old?!?!

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.