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The Boston Globe



Stretch yourself, stay injury-free

Pilates and weight lifting are great ways to stay in shape longer because they improve body conditioning, strength, and flexibility

When Elaine Richard was asked by her bosses at the Weymouth Fitness Club to participate in the facility’s annual fitness competition, the 65-year-old balked. A seasoned personal trainer and Pilates instructor who competes in ballroom dancing, Richard knew she was in good shape for her age. But she was skeptical she could compete with 30- and 40-year-olds.

As it turned out, she surprised herself. After a rigorous 12-week training period, she held her own in a competition that included pullups, bench press, squats, and military sit-ups. In fact, she completed 95 sit-ups in 1 minute, more than any of her competitors.

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