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Pilates for balance | Thanksgiving workout | Dietitian tips for the holidays | Exercise of the Month | Meet the Athlete | And more 24 WAC Magazine | wac.net Age better with Pilates Holiday health tips Exercise of the month Meet the athlete E S T E P W O R K S Natalia Tikhonova, Pilates Instructor We all know that youth doesn't last forever. At some point in life we start experiencing changes in our balance, strength and flexibility. As we age, the maintenance of these three fitness components becomes paramount. Many people around the age of 50 increase their focus on strength and flexibility but neglect balance. Work- ing on your balance, however, must be addressed with the same attention. Pilates can help. Current research suggests that Pilates exercises have a positive effect on improving balance and coordination in the general adult population. Better balance means fewer falls and fewer injuries. So how does Pilates help maintain and improve our balance? First, it's important to understand that balance is a complex physiological phenomenon. Recently developed mod- els acknowledge multiple systems that contribute to human balance—vestibular, visual, somatosensory, musculoskeletal, and motor. When training to improve our balance, all of these must be targeted. Let's take a look at each of these sys- tems and how Pilates can help. Vestibular system is system, also called the vestibular labyrinth, is part of the inner ear and interacts with other parts of the body— including our eyes, bones and joints— to help maintain our body's balance. Moving through various Pilates exer- cise positions—for example, from supine to prone, from side-lying to quadruped, Living Fit Balancing act Try Pilates for systematic improvements and better aging

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