How To Keep Your Groove After Two Hip Replacements wit Pilates

My hips needed some love.

I had osteoarthritis and my bones were wearing out from all of the movement that I did. Raising kids, being an early childhood educator, and my daily exercising, swimming, and walking, I have been very active.   I think all of this movement, plus my genetics wore out my hip joints! When you are able to move, and then you realize “I’m just not moving” someone needs to have a look.  My first experience doing Pilates was taking a couple of classes with my daughter at the Polestar Physical Therapy Center in Miami, Florida.  We thought “let’s try something new, a new way to exercise”.  Later I was invited to a Pilates teacher training at the center to participate as “a body” with student teachers who were practicing.  They led me in Pilates and assessed my skills, and between my two hip replacements, they did a fantastic job!  What I liked about Pilates is it’s all about me, it’s “me time”.  Even when there are 5 other people in the room my instructor says “you can make it heavier, lighter, or try alternate positions”.  I love that this helps me customize my movement and it keeps my joints lubricated. 

My New Motto: “Good to Go”

Before my hip replacements, I was an event planner at an elementary school. I remember as my hips were getting worse thinking, “please don’t give me a job where I have to walk across campus to the other building”.  After the first hip replacement, I was able to take long walks with my husband, bend, stoop, balance and move, and be with my grandson Zeb.  I could take trips with my sister without worrying about pain.  My motto became “good to go!” and I was thrilled to walk anywhere pain-free!  For both of my hip replacements, I received physical therapy at the hospital.  I loved moving with my PT and thought to myself “I bet she is a Polestar Pilates graduate” and not to my surprise she was.  We did movement on the elliptical machine, walked on the treadmill, and presses and lifts on the equipment.  Then I learned the clamshell, bridging with the ball, quadruped, and what I call the “donkey kick” – you push your leg up, up, up!

Pilates helps me keep everything moving!

Pilates helps me be with the people I love, other like-minded people at the studio, my husband, and my family. It helps me feel comfortable in my movement and helps me feel happy (it even helps in your romantic life) I Can Move!  Pilates is really a total self-care practice, for well-being, mental health, emotional health, and of course physical health.   My sense of well-being improves when I’m moving and I don’t feel like “the number 67” (my age). I feel younger in my body, mind, and heart.  Pilates is “me time”, I get to give myself the love and care that dominoes to the other people I love and care about.  Now I go to my neighborhood Pilates studio 2 or 3 times a week during the summer and fall.  

I have fully recovered from two hip replacements, I enjoy providing childcare for my 18-month-old grandson Zeb.  From picking him up and holding him, bending over, sitting on the floor with him, and playing in the tunnels. He even rides my back like a horse as I crawl around. I can enjoy bending over to change his diaper, walking him in the stroller, and playing with him at the park. We go to music class to play instruments, sing, and dance, and I love it all!  I think for a senior person, especially,  it really is all about moving.  If you lead a sedentary life and are not active, not with people you won’t feel great.  You just have to move!  Pilates gives me that opportunity to gently and effectively move and enjoy so many things like fully participating with the ones I love. 

Lyn Zuckerman is a retired early childhood educator living in Denver, Co.

For more information on the online course “Pilates for Lower Extremity Pathologies and Joint Replacements” click here.

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