Exercising by doing interval training, not weight lifting, could be the secret to preserving youth, according to recent medical journal studies.
High-intensity aerobic interval training –or exercising in bursts of moderate and high-intensity running, cycling, or other aerobic activity– may help to reduce the effects of aging at a cellular level, researchers have found.
Scientists have analyzed groups of people doing high-intensity aerobic interval training, resistance training, or a combination of the two, over 12-week periods. While these researchers found that all 3 types of exercise improved participants’ lean body mass, at a cellular level, they found that the group participating in the high intensity interval training also saw improvements in the exercise capacity of their muscle’s mitochondria. As people age, their mitochondria, which are responsible for producing energy for our cells, become less efficient.
High intensity interval training essentially reversed many “age-related differences” in aspects of elderly participants’ mitochondria, these researchers have documented. 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.
Unfortunately, just hearing the term “high-intensity interval training” can be very scary for some people, though it shouldn’t be. High intensity interval training is just aerobic training with short bouts of weight training in between. The beauty of it though is that we get to control the pace and intensity of our own workouts.
This type of exercise, also known as HIIT, can be done using just your own body weight and with little to no equipment. Aerobic training can be accomplished by jumping rope, running on the spot, or doing jumping jacks, for example. Weight training can be simulated with exercises such as push ups, lunges and back squats.
* It is recommended to consult with your medical doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen, including high-intensity interval training or other related activity.
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