If you’re over 50, listen up. According to recent research one type of exercise routine can help you reverse signs of aging. Now, all types of exercise are beneficial, so it is not to say that only one type helps. However, this one type beats others. Which one is it?
It’s called HIIT. For a while now, HIIT (high intensity interval training) and its cousin HIRT (high intensity resistance training) have been the buzz in the fitness world. But they’re a bit scary if you really don’t know what they are. The picture of someone working out till they drop can be intimidating to some. But this is not what high intensity training is about.
HIIT involves exercising in high bursts of moderate and high intensity running, cycling, or other aerobic activity. You can start at your own pace and build it up as you improve.
I was never a fan of steady-pace running on the treadmill for what seems like an eternity. Then along came HIIT and HIRT, and did I love it. Same, and often more, amount of sweet in less than half the time. Plus better results.
I’m now a high intensity training addict and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Can HIIT Reverse Aging?
When we talk about reversing the aging process, some people picture themselves getting back their prom night look and/or perhaps the next few years after. This is not what it is about, not to mention that it’s unrealistic. But what if you could look great (and still mature) with youthful energy to go with it? I’ll go for that.
According to the study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, scientists analyzed two groups of sedentary people, one young (ages 18 to 30) and the other older (ages 65 to 80). The participants were assigned of three routines for 12 weeks; resistance training, interval training, and a combination of the two.
While all groups showed improvements in lean mass gains (and appearance), the high intensity interval group showed improvement at a cellular level. As people age, the cells – the mitochondria in particular – which produce energy, become less efficient.
When the researchers looked at the cells of older people in the high intensity group, their cells appeared more like younger people’s cells in terms of how they handled energy. The high intensity group also saw improvements in insulin sensitivity, an aspect that affects our ability to burn fat.