DALLAS – Pumping a little iron can help elderly nursing-home residents and heart-failure patients gain strength for everyday life, the American Heart Association says, expanding on earlier advice. “Those folks are capable of exercise training benefits, and certainly resistance training is part of that,” said Mark Williams, who led the group that wrote the new guidance published Monday online in the journal Circulation. Williams said resistance training – whether lifting weights or doing sit-ups – should be used as a complement to aerobic exercise. “A lot of people, after having a heart attack or heart failure, think they need to take it easy,” said Dr. Amit Khera, director of cardiac rehabilitation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He said broader guidance should help reassure doctors and patients that it’s probably OK for most people to start exercising after heart trouble. Khera said cardiac patients are often restricted to lifting one pound to five pounds for the first couple of weeks. The heart association cited one study of resistance training that resulted in improvements for nursing-home residents with an average age of 87. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!