High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, as it is called in gyms around the world, can be key in today’s daily fitness regimen. Science claims that short, intense exercise combined with more moderate training can reverse the aging process – and slow it down. While strength training, which is good for building muscle mass, does not have this effect.
The study was published on the medical portal Cell Metabolism by scientists from the Mayo Clinic. Having recruited an equal number of men and women to participate in the experiment, they divided them into two age groups – young (18 to 30 years) and older (65-80 years), and then grouped them into three subgroups, which were offered three sports programs designed for a 12-week period.
The first group focused on HIIT (three days of high-intensity cycling, alternating with slow-paced exercise, and two days of treadmill training each week); the second group performed strength exercises using weight (two days a week on the lower and upper body); finally, the third group combined strength and interval training (less intense cycling than the first group, and less weight training than the second, for a total of five days of training per week).
By the end of the study, all participants had improved their fitness, but those who focused on HIIT boasted better results.
Intense interval exercise improves heart rate, insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of diabetes, and cellular respiration in mitochondria (they, like batteries, charge each cell with energy. – Ed.) In both age groups, “- said in a statement. The report explained that “HIIT has increased the body’s mitochondrial capacity, which helps it replenish energy reserves and their capacity – by 49% in young people and, most interestingly, by 69% in the elderly.”
“High-intensity interval training has improved the activity of ribosomes, which play a vital role in protein synthesis,” study lead author Dr. Srikumaran Nair of the Mayo Clinic told CNN. According to scientists, if such physical activity can prevent the destruction of ribosomes in muscles, a similar effect should be expected in other tissues – for example, in heart and brain cells, where their division is extremely rare, which causes aging.