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WEEKLY WORKOUT: Resistance Training For Seniors

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As we age, we lose muscle mass, which is one reason personal trainer, Irene McCormick says resistance training is key.

“Resistance training is what the research is pointing to as one of the most effective ways to overcome a lot of the things that occur during the aging process.”

Those things include loss of brain function.

“So we’re not able to process information as quickly and efficiently,” says McCormick.  “Unfortunately, people don’t realize that you can halt that, you can totally reverse that.”

Research shows resistance training can ward off dementia by promoting cognitive function in seniors.  And you don’t need to be a body builder to reap the benefits.

“It doesn’t have to happen with this,” says McCormick, pointing to a set of weights.

McCormick says all you really need is a chair.  Simply sitting down and standing up will build the muscles in the lower body.

“It’s a lot of work,” says McCormick.  “You’re going to get really fatigued in your lower body.”

She also suggests placing one foot in front of the other to take stress off the knees and create more power.

“If I started to feel like I was losing my balance, I’d just open my feet up a little bit.”

The chair also provides some support for leg lifts and leg circles.

“Do as many as you can, alternating sides, until you start to feel fatigued.”

For the upper body, try a modified plank with a push-up on the chair.

“I’m still working muscles in my upper body, chest, shoulders, triceps and I’m getting great benefit.”

Benefits for the body and the mind.