High-intensity interval training or HIIT as it is affectionately known in gyms around the world may be the key, so science says, to reversing the ageing process.
A new study published in journal Cell Metabolism, suggests that short bursts of intense exercise combined with more moderate exercise can do wonders for your body in terms of reversing age-related cell changes.
Mayo Clinic Scientists monitored two groups of men and women, split into age ranges (young: 18–30 years and older: 65–80 years) and then further split those groups into three, each of which then participated in different exercise routines for a 12-week period.
Group one focused on HIIT (three days of high-intensity cycling bursts fused with slower-paced intervals and two days of treadmill walking each week), group two followed a regimen of resistance training (two days a week of lower and upper body exercises), while group three adopted a combination of the two (cycling less strenuously than the first group and lifting fewer weights than the second, for a total of five days of exercise a week).
While all participants had improved their fitness overall by the end of the study, it was those who focused on HIIT that saw the greatest benefits.
“HIIT robustly improved cardio-respiratory fitness, insulin sensitivity, mitochondrial respiration, and fat-free mass (FFM) in both age groups,” said the report, adding that “HIIT increased maximal absolute mitochondrial respiration – which helps the body create energy – in young (+49%) and older adults (+69%).”
“Exercise training, especially high-intensity interval training, enhanced the machinery [ribosomes] to produce proteins, increased the production of proteins and enhanced protein abundance in muscle,” senior study author Dr. Sreekumaran Nair, of the Mayo Clinic, told CNN.