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Flex Your Most Important Muscle – Your Brain

weightlifting and the brain

Your Brain and Weight Training

Tests showed that seniors who trained with free weights, dumbbells and weight machines just once or twice a week improved their cognitive ability by almost 13 percent after working out for a year. What’s interesting is that a similar group of women who did toning and balance exercises actually regressed in their decision-making abilities and focus.

Lifting weights, it turns out, slows older women’s cognitive decline. The study was published in “Archives of Internal Medicine.” Tests showed that seniors who trained with free weights, dumbbells and weight machines just once or twice a week improved their cognitive ability by almost 13 percent after working out for a year. What’s interesting is that a similar group of women who did toning and balance exercises actually regressed in their decision-making abilities and focus.

As a trainer and bodybuilder I have always promoted weight lifting over body toning exercises many women are asking for: Yoga and Pilates. They are a great complement to a weightlifting routine. Especially when it comes to older women, they are hard to convince that strength training is necessary for them. We have seen study after study show the benefits of weight lifting; it promotes bone health and reduces age-related muscle loss and now we know that it helps us stay sharp as we age. Alzheimer’s and dementia are so common among seniors that many people don’t even think about what can be done to prevent them.

weight training over 70

David, 79, kicks ass in the gym and in life!

Walking and all cardiovascular exercises are important to keep your heart healthy; Yoga helps calm your body and mind, but weight training will keep your body fit and your mind sharp. So, if you are one of those who avoids dumbbells and weight machines, think again. Exercises like squats or lunges while curling a 5 pound dumbbell can significantly increase your mental and physical health. Proper form when lifting weights will help prevent injuries and strengthen weak joints and muscles. Another benefit is that weight lifting helps your upper body fatigue.

Flex your brain!

When you’re ready to begin a weight training program, make sure you seek out a professional trainer or physical therapist to ensure you’re doing the exercises properly. Check out your local gyms for special resistance classes for seniors or hire a professional personal trainer with a specialized senior fitness program who can help you set up a routine that’s just right for you.

Related post: How to stay young forever

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