Is HIIT Exercise the Fountain of Youth?
Need another reason to hit the gym? According to a recent study, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) could be the secret to staying young.
For the study, researchers analyzed three groups of participants who were exercising. One group of participants performed high-intensity aerobic training; the second group performed resistance training; and the third group performed a combination of high-intensity aerobic training and resistance training. The study covered a 12-week period.
Researchers found that all three groups of participants lost body fat at a cellular level. However, participants in the high-intensity interval training group experienced the greatest improvements in their muscle’s mitochondria, leading researchers to believe that high-intensity aerobic training is the most effective type of exercise to combat early aging.
So, how exactly does mitochondria affect aging? As explained by the study’s researchers, mitochondria produce energy for our cells. When we age, however, they become less efficient at doing this. The good news is that high-intensity interval training was shown to reverse age-related differences in mitochondria, according to the study.
“When they looked at the cellular level, the changes they saw in the older people’s cells with the high-intensity [training] made those cells look more like younger people’s cells in terms of how they handled energy,” said Dr. Richard Besser, who wasn’t involved in the study. “That was very interesting.”
You might be wondering what exactly classified as high-intensity interval training. Well, it’s essentially any type of aerobic training that includes short bouts of weight training. When exercising at the gym, for your instance, you can spend the majority of your time on the treadmill or elliptical, while taking an occasional break to lift weights. Assuming this study is true, engaging in high-intensity interval training such as this could help to keep you young.
High-intensity interval training isn’t going to turn back the hands of time, though this study certainly reveals some benefits associated with this type of exercise.
This study was published in the medical journal Cell Metabolism.