PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I’m a big fan of weightlifting. I’m not talking about bodybuilding. I’m also not talking about building strength to improve performance in various sports. Certainly they are good uses for hitting the weights. What I’m talking about is weightlifting in the elderly.

There is no doubt that weightlifting may be more important in those over 60 than any other group. It isn’t about big muscles and looking great at the beach at that point. At this stage of life it is about maintaining strength and flexibility and avoiding injury.

The use of multiple repetitions with light weights is most valuable at this point. If you’re thinking about starting a weightlifting program you should check with your physician and certainly make sure that someone shows you the appropriate way to lift.

There is another surprising point about weightlifting. If you build muscle mass those muscles actually help burn calories throughout the day. It’s as if you’re exercising 24/7 when you build muscle.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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