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Study shows HIIT the best exercise for anti-ageing

Study shows HIIT the best exercise for anti-ageing
March 29, 2017

A new study has found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT), combined with resistance training, can essentially stop cellular ageing and, in some cases, rejuvenate the cells that repair damage in the body.

For the study, researchers at the US-based Mayo Clinic took 36 men and 36 women split into younger (aged between 18 and 30) and older (aged between 65 and 80) age groups.

The participants were then assigned a three-month program of HIIT, strength training or a combination of the two.

To understand the way exercise effects people at a molecular level, the researchers then took biopsies from the participants' thigh muscles and compared them with samples from sedentary volunteers.

The strength-training group predictably saw the greatest improvements in muscle mass, but the findings that have been described as "earth shattering" were at a cellular level in the HIIT group.

Mitochondria are the "powerhouses" of our cells, responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support organ function. Their function typically declines with age.

However, in the HIIT group, the mitochondrial functioning improved by 69% among the older participants, and by 49% among the younger group.

As well as improving their insulin levels, heart and lung health, some in the high-intensity cycling group also saw a reversal of the age-related decline in mitochondrial function and proteins needed for building muscle.

The research, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, provided an explanation for the many health benefits of exercise said the lead senior author, K. Sreekumaran Nair.

Nair stated “based on everything we know, there's no substitute for these exercise programs when it comes to delaying the ageing process.

"These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine.

"If people have to pick one exercise, I would recommend high-intensity interval training, but I think it would be more beneficial if they could do three to four days of interval training and then a couple days of strength training."

HIIT workouts alternate between short bursts of intense exercise followed by moderate activity. Previous studies have showed HIIT will help burn fat, build a healthier heart, and increase metabolism, among many other health benefits.

Click here for more information on the study, Enhanced Protein Translation Underlies Improved Metabolic and Physical Adaptations to Different Exercise Training Modes in Young and Old Humans, in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Images (from top): TRX at Fitness First, Les Mills GRIT and Genesis Fitness' The Coaching Zone.

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The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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