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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #106 -- Seniors - Strength Training Helps More Than Just Your Muscles
August 11, 2012
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Seniors - Strength Training Helps More Than Just Your Muscles
It is unfortunate but a fact of life that as you age mental and physical health tend to decline. We are going to examine how the mental as well as physical downward spiral can be stopped or even reversed through weight training.
The term "senior moment" is a term used to describe when a person encounters a glitch in memory or mental processing. I remember recently that I went to Shoprite to buy a few groceries. When I went to the automated checkout counter to pay via my debit card, I forgot my pin number.
I have used my card hundreds of times without any problem but at that particular time I forgot it. I experienced a "senior moment".
Fortunately that doesn't happen on a regular basis. If it did it could indicate more than mild cognitive malfunction.
Mild cognitive impairment is recognized as a risk factor for dementia. On a global scale, dementia is diagnosed every 7 seconds.
Back in the day people who used weights - typically your average bodybuilder - was looked upon as being muscle-bound and having muscles for brains. He was regarded as a dim-witted narcissist.
But as I will show, no one has to strive to build Olympian sized muscles in order to fight age-related sarcopenia and mental decline. Progressive resistance training to fight cognitive decline is backed up by solid science. (I will be using strength training, progressive resistance training, and weight training interchangeably).
Science has shown that lifting weights is beneficial for things other than getting bulging muscles and building a "body beautiful". (I must admit that when I was in my late 20s to early 30s getting a body beautiful was my goal).
Weights are the key to halting brain drain and loss of independent living due to muscle atrophy. That means it is not for young people or men only - but seniors and women too. Its benefits extend far beyond the physique.
Of the two competing forms of exercise widely used, the latest scientific study has shown that strength training is superior to aerobic or cardiovascular training for prevent cognitive impairment.
The study participants were 86 senior women who had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. After six months in the program and training twice a week, attention, memory, problem solving, and decision making had improved significantly through progressive resistance training.
David Blyweiss, MD was so impressed with this study, he has re-thought what he recommends to his patients and what he incorporates into his own health program.
He now recommends that his patients not only use the stairs instead of the elevator and walk more, but that they weight train at least two days a week.
I highly recommend you view this video. It explains how anyone can safely incorporate weight training into their schedule.
Living A God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health.
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When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, there was no obesity epidemic, and children were not developing old-age maladies such as heart disease. Cancer, Alzheimer's, and autism were virtually unheard of. Living a healthy lifestyle was a lot easier. More...
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