High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Reverses Aging?
A recent study, from the journal Cell Metabolism, cites the health benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT). Increases in insulin sensitivity, increased muscle formation, and weight loss were expected in the study. What is particularly noteworthy is the increase in cellular performance. Cells number in the trillions and form tissue like our skin and heart. Thus an increase in cellular performance could produce increased body function.
High Intensity Interval Training and Cells
Inside of those cells lie mitochondria (MA). If you remember elementary biology, MA are “the powerhouse of cells.” MA, simply put, drive the daily functions of a cell. The study compares HIIT to resistance training and a combination of both. HIIT improves the function of MA or reverses the effects of mitochondrial “aging.” As you age, mitochondria like eyes decrease in function.
What Does This Mean For You?
Although reversal of cellular aging is great, we don’t know the long term effects of HIIT. The study lasted for 12 weeks. It will be interesting to see studies looking into the long term effects of HIIT. Will you live longer? Who knows at this point, but increased MA functioning is a good start. This study functions as a catalyst for more long term studies involving HIIT because the science is inconclusive on the long term effects.
Just Give Me the Exercise Routine!
Lastly, what was the exercise protocol? The HIIT group did 4 minutes of high intensity biking four times with minimal rest in between for 3 days. Study participants also did two days of walking for 45 minutes. That’s it! In order to perform HIIT, you can incorporate many types of exercises. The idea behind HIIT is to perform short bursts of all out exercise. If you want to learn more, check out this information from the American Academy of Sports Medicine.
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