(Source: Bev Childress)
Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way to turn back the clock and be younger for a few more days, weeks, or even years? Age is the one thing we can never fight or overcome, no matter how hard we try. All those anti-aging supplements, creams, and diets don’t do a thing to stop your body from slowly breaking down.
But according to a study by the American Physiological Society (APS), there is one thing that could help you defy age: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).
Age affects your body in many different ways. You begin to lose muscle and bone density, fat mass increases, energy levels drop, your digestive system doesn’t work quite right, and so many other side effects. But the primary danger of aging is its effects on your heart. Thanks to oxidative stress, high cholesterol, hypertension, and obstruction in the cardiovascular system, age increases your risk of heart attacks, strokes, peripheral arterial disease, heart failure, and other cardiovascular events.
HIIT may be able to counteract the cardiovascular effects of aging, at least to a certain extent. The American Physiological Society (APS) found that resistance-based interval training can improve endothelial function, leading to an increase in nitric oxide production, better blood vessel dilation, and improved blood flow. It can also help to decrease inflammation and the risk of diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
The researchers studied 35 men (all middle-aged) and the effects HIIT had on their bodies. Even the men with Type 2 Diabetes saw marked improvement thanks to the interval training. With just 20 minutes of exercise, their endothelial function improved, leading to better overall blood flow and cardiovascular function.
Do you know which men benefitted the most from the exercise overall? That’s right, the men with Type 2 Diabetes. It didn’t matter if they had prior exercise experience or not, all that mattered was that they performed the high intensity exercise. HIIT led to visible improvements in endothelial function, which in turn decreased their risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
It doesn’t matter how old you are: HIIT can be your best friend. Pushing your body to its limits (95 to 100% VO2 Max) is the best way to get in a killer workout, one that will build muscle and improve cardiorespiratory function. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to hit the gym, a short workout (10 to 20-minutes) is all you need. You can defy the effects of age thanks to HIIT.
1. Monique Emily Francois, Cody Durrer, Kevin Pistawka, Frank Halperin, Jonathan Peter Little. Resistance-Based Interval Exercise Acutely Improves Endothelial Function In Type 2 Diabetes. American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2016; ajpheart.00398.2016 DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00398.2016.
2. American Physiological Society (APS). “Interval exercise training improves blood vessel function in older adults.” ScienceDaily, 27 September 2016.