Teaching Old Muscles New Tricks (cont.)
Lee strode across the exercise room to the next weight machine. She leaned over and set the stack of weights to the thickness of several New York City phone books. She sat down and slowly curled her body forward, lifting the weights with the strength of her stomach muscles. After repeating this a dozen times she smiled, patted her belly, and said "I'm trying to work on this area a bit." Then she made her way to the next machine.
Lee Warren Shipman of Maryland is 80 years old, and has three grandchildren. She's had a complete knee replacement and lives "up 22 steps" in a house she designed herself. She has been lifting weights twice a week for over five years. "I think this prevents osteoporosis," she says.
Lee knows that strength exercises - defined as any exercise that builds and strengthens muscles - improve bone density and combat the effects of osteoporosis. Strength exercises are also referred to as strength training, resistance training, weight training, and weight-lifting. But whatever you call them, research funded by NIH's National Institutes of Aging (NIA) shows that older people, even those in their nineties, benefit greatly from them.
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