By now, a few bouts of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) a week should be a bedrock part of your training regimen. After all, HIIT has been shown to increase cardiovascular health and build lean muscle with a minimal time commitment. And a new study from the Mayo Clinic added some whipped cream topping on that beautiful HIIT pie (just go with the metaphor) by showing that the intense workout protocol can even reverse some types of cellular aging.
In the study, researchers focused on what types of training would help older adults get stronger and feel younger. So they tested HIIT, resistance training, and combined training in a group of young and old people over the course of 12 weeks. They found that HIIT not only boosts the cellular processes that make new proteins (which in turn helps bolster protein synthesis and reverses some effects of aging), but also bumps up muscle mass in older adults.
“We encourage everyone to exercise regularly, but the take-home message for aging adults [is] that supervised high-intensity training is probably best, because, both metabolically and at the molecular level, it confers the most benefits,” said K. Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and senior author on the study. Other highlights: All subjects saw improved cardio health, muscle mass, and skeletal muscle gene expression.
To get on an anti-aging exercise regimen before you reach 65 (or broken your hip, or had two knee replacements, and couldn’t attempt a HIIT protocol much less walk up some stairs), check out these 10 HIIT workouts you can do at home.