To Your Health
May, 2017 (Vol. 11, Issue 05)
Interval Training: The Fountain of Cellular Youth?
By Editorial Staff
Wish you could stop the aging process for a while, or at least slow it down? The key may lie in exercise in general and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in particular.
Recent research suggests HIIT, defined as training in which short bursts of intense exercise are sprinkled between more moderate-intensity exercise (for example, sprinting for 30-second intervals during a brisk jog), actually improves the activity / capacity of mitochondria, energy-producing organelles pivotal to cell maintenance and performance.
The study revealed benefits for both younger and older participants: a 49 percent increase in mitochondrial capacity in younger subjects (18-30) and a 69 percent increase in older subjects (65-80). High-intensity interval training consisted of three days a week of low-intensity cycling interspersed with bouts of high-intensity pedaling; and two days a week of moderately challenging treadmill walking.
The researchers speculate that if this type of training can help restore / prevent deterioration of muscle cells, then it may also be able to impact cellular changes associated with aging in other body cells. Regardless, these findings reinforce the value of consistent exercise to promote healthy aging and prevent disease.