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973741 tn?1342346373

How important is weight lifting to overall fitness routine?

I work out for cardiac benefits and overall weight control.  I like to do a lot of different things and do walk a good amount (a good book on audio makes that something I look forward to).  Most classes I do at the gym incorporate weight exercises (light weights 4 to 6 pounds for me or a 10 pound bar) and I like to do those but don't always make it.  So, then I work out at home.  And I have that same weight type at home, 3 pound, 5 pound and 8 pound weights and a 10 pound bar---  my question is, how often should I do a weight work out each week.  Is it really important?  
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Avatar universal
Important is a relative question, Mom.  Obviously, nobody went to gyms or did this kind of exercise for most of human history, and the people who have been studied in those clusters where they live the longest healthiest and least obese lives don't do any kind of formal exercise for the most part.  What they do is eat well and don't live sedentary lives.  That being said, you love to work out, and for weight loss resistance training might be even better than cardio.  It tones your body, so you have a better shape.  It offers a variation in your workouts so you don't have as great a risk of suffering repetitive workouts as those who, say, run every day.  If you have a meditative soul, it's much better than taking classes to go to the gym and just lose yourself in your breathing, as proper breathing is really important for proper weight lifting.  So for anyone who really loves formal exercise, weight training varies the routine, builds muscle that supports all the things you do, tones the body to a better shape, might be better for losing weight, and allows a focused concentration that can be really nice.  It can also be dangerous if you do things you've never done before and do them wrong, and knowing how to do them right is very hard because everyone has a different theory.  So there's that.  No serious athlete skips weight training, not even today's golfers.  It also helps shirts to fit better.  
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Avatar universal
But I meant to add, once you start weight lifting, you can't really stop without some sagging -- once you build muscle it goes away if you don't keep working at it, at least for many people.  Just be careful at it -- and I'm sure you will, it's mostly the really young who do those crazy nutty things you see people at the gym do.  As long as you're careful and don't try to do more than you can, and as long as you don't have some structural problems going on in your shoulders or neck or lower back that need extra care, you'll probably like it.  But no, it's not necessary -- you won't die if you don't do it.
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973741 tn?1342346373
I do do it whenever I take an exercise class.  And I always have.  But I'm getting to the actual gym less.  Working out at home more (youtube makes doing a class easy right from my living room!)  I was just curious on a time schedule.  Is two times the right amount, three or one or ???
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Avatar universal
Depends on how much you like it.  Serious weight lifters alternate days -- legs one day, arms the next.  It's totally up to you and how buff you want to get.  The more you do it, the bigger your muscles get.  I only do it twice a week because that's all I can do, but it's all I ever really wanted to do.  But my wife loves it and does it five times a week at the gym.  
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20691887 tn?1504695593
2-3 x/week for 30 mins should be a good start.  This is VERY important as we women age.  Muscle mass drops at a faster rate after the age of 50.  Cardio is great, but ST or RT will keep you strong.  VERY important!
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