Pilates for Teens? It’s a Thing.

Ah, the teenage years—a time of volatile internal change, anger for no good reason, and the search for identity. Adolescence is a trying time in a person’s life, and the challenges of today don’t make it any easier to navigate. How can a young person deal with the inevitable pressure of the years leading up to adulthood?

It should come as no surprise that Pilates is the PERFECT outlet for the youth among us. We could really drone on and on about its benefits, but today, we’ll just concentrate on three.

1.     It’s good for the mind. Although the generations before them may not be able to find much good to say about how the youth of America spend their time, the truth is, they spend a large portion of time worrying about the future. In 2013, the APA ran a study and found that America’s teens are even more stressed than adults. Climate change is taking a toll on the planet, higher education’s prices are climbing by the minute, and social media is creating a fantasyland that they feel like they absolutely have to live up to, even though they know they can’t. Pilates can help slow down young brains and teach them to master the life-altering skill of mindfulness, or living in the present and accepting things as they are without judgment. Can you imagine if we’d all learned this trait early in life?

2.     It’s good for the body. They say this is the first generation of children who won’t outlive their parents, due to obesity. People are sitting more now than ever, as our society isn’t one in which everyday life calls for much movement. If you’re not an athlete, plugging into an activity that gets the blood pumping may not always be a priority. Fortunately, Pilates offers an opportunity to develop a love for fitness without the pressure of scoring a letter jacket. Its emphasis on core strength, flexibility, and body awareness makes it a great fit for students who sit much of the day, or put strain on their posture by holding and looking down at devices.

3.     It’s good for the soul. While Pilates has no religious leaning, its low-impact, focused nature has a way of drawing us into ourselves, calling us to explore the intrapersonal oneness that comes along with thinking about what we’re doing, overcoming hurdles, and strengthening the body that carries us through this life. Pilates helps us work as one complete being. Since the practice requires synergy, teens will learn to operate synergistically in and out of the studio.

What youngsters do you know who could benefit from what Pilates has to offer? Give them a hand and point them towards a studio ASAP. The difference you’ll see in just a month will leave you and them saying OMG.

Jessica Notman