1. Puleo, Joy MA, ACSM, PMA


The world's population is living longer, due in large part to the post-World War II baby boom and medical advances. As our population ages, natural age-related physical decline coupled with chronic and/or degenerative diseases creates an increased demand on our health care system and drives up health care-related costs. Physical activity can mitigate health care costs by staving off morbidity and keeping our aging population physically independent longer. However, with only 20% of Americans meeting government activity recommendations and 6% to 10% of the deaths worldwide from noncommunicable diseases associated with lack of physical activity, it is clear that we can no longer afford to be inactive. Physical activity programs designed for an aging population need to meet the physical challenges of natural aging and provide a safe, effective, and appropriate environment designed to encourage program adherence. Mindfulness and mindful movement, specifically Pilates, may well prove to be an effective nonpharmacological answer to aging and activity. Pilates is not only safe, effective, and appropriate, but its inwardly directed design enhances efficacy and physical self-confidence.