How does weight lifting affect your health and life span?

My teacher assigned my class an inquiry project with the topic being completely ours to choose. Following her announcement a memory played in mind of the time my own father who had turned 51 years old the previous weekend came up to me and asked me what advice I had for him to get back in shape. I told him “why don’t you start to lift weights” and he shot me with a quick beady glare followed by “son, i’m far too old and too out of shape to be lifting weights, if I started now it’ll probably kill me.” His response left me to ponder, what long lasting effects weight lifting had on the human body. I was eager to find out the answer to this and now with a project to further motivate me I began my search for the answer.

My research starts with one of the first sites I looked up Mayo Clinic. This website like the many others I looked up went into great detail to show me the detrimental effects aging has on the human body. Some of the ailments included on the site were high blood pressure, osteoporosis,constipation and your metabolism. Your metabolism slows down and this combined with the common sedentary life style most people live now a days leads to excessive weight gain. Being overweight leads to many health problems for example making you more prone for type two diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Aging and being sedentary makes you prone to this and that cannot change but what can is exercising. While looking into these articles I found a common treatment for all these ailments to be weight lifting. The value used in my is MET which stands for Metabolic equivalent. One Met is equal to the amount of energy a person uses while seated at rest. It is recommended for adults to engage in 500–1000 MET minutes per week. Weight training uses 6.0 MET so you would have to spend 167 hours to show good results. At the results this group did shows the correlation with physical activity and extended life span. An activity level of o.1–3.74 MET h/wk was reported with a 1.8 year extension. Groups that performed 22.5+ MET h/wk gained on average an extra 7.2 years added to their life span.

Feeling confident that I had done enough research to convince my father of the benefits received from weight lifting I show him my findings. He gave me another one of his infamous glares and responded by saying “this is all swell son but what are the consequences, everything always has a consequence.” Feeling a bit annoyed I dove back into my work and found a couple common concerns people had on weight lifting. Number being many have faced injuries while lifting. The fact of the matter is that most of the injures issued were due to improper form, or not having a spotter to help you. One concern is the spike in blood pressure a person receives but this should only pose a concern if you are over 45 years of age and are lifting more than 85 percent of your one rep max. 70–75 percent of your one rep max can actually boost your heart health.

Now with my updated information I showed my father and with his approval we plan on starting soon.