Pumping iron not only builds muscle, but also boosts brain power, new research shows.
While many studies have linked exercise to physical benefits for adults at any age, the American College of Sports Medicine now recommends that Americans over 50 engage in regular weight training for the good of their bodies, as well as their minds.
“Weightlifting has long been overlooked as an integral part of healthy aging,” says Dr. Robert Drapkin, a board-certified physician in internal medicine, medical oncology and palliative care.
He noted weightlifting can help prevent osteoporosis and increase bone density, but also improves cognitive functions.
Weightlifting is especially beneficial for adults well into their 90s, Dr. Drapkin said.
He added that seniors should take care to learn how to use machines and techniques correctly to avoid injury.
“Safety is paramount,” said Dr. Drapkin. “Weightlifting can prevent injuries; however, we want to avoid causing them by using too much weight or moving incorrectly. It's important to work with a professional in order to learn proper form.”
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