A new study says that High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) helps you lose body fat and fight ageing.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been all the rage for the past few years. It seems like every day a new class, program or app comes out that’s dedicated to the training style. Left and right, people are ditching their long runs and weight training sessions for HIIT-friendly sprints and spin classes.
Though the time intervals can vary, HIIT usually involves 30 to 60 seconds of max effort, followed by 30 to 90 seconds of rest. The cycle is repeated for a total of around 15 to 45 minutes.
It’s a worldwide phenomenon, and, more importantly, HIIT has been proven to be one of the best types of exercise you can do. It’s more effective than moderate-intensity exercise: it increases your cardiovascular fitness more than traditional endurance training, it leads to more fat loss and it significantly lowers your insulin resistance compared to continuous training, which in turn lowers your blood sugar and promotes weight loss.
HIIT leads to more fat loss than steady-state cardio
And now, there might be one more benefit of HIIT: its anti-ageing abilities.
According to a new study, HIIT training can actually reverse the ageing process. Yup, you read that right. Scientists from Mayo Clinic recruited adults from age 18 to 80 to test out different types of exercise for 12 weeks. The first group did three days of HIIT cycling and two days of treadmill walking per week, the second group did two days of resistance training, and the third group did a combination of the two, but less intensely, five days a week.
All of the groups reduced their insulin resistance and lost fat, but the HIIT group experienced the most anti-ageing benefits. As you might remember from grade school, the mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells: they produce our energy! As we age, the mitochondria’s ability to function efficiently decreases, which can reduce the size of our muscles and lead to fatigue. However, the results of the study showed that HIIT improved age-related decline of the muscle mitochondria. Younger adults of the HIIT group (18 to 30) saw their mitochondrial capacity increase by 49 percent, while the older adults (65 to 80) experienced a whopping 69 percent increase. Researchers said the gains can be explained by the increased abundance of’ ribosomes’ that the group also received, which help build the proteins that make muscle cells.
All of the groups reduced their insulin resistance and lost fat, but the HIIT group experienced the most anti-ageing benefits.
Long story short: HIIT leads the cells to make more proteins that help produce energy, which combats the ageing process.
If you’re not already incorporating HIIT into your exercise routine, try our 30-day HIIT challenge. The quick five minute bodyweight workouts can be done anywhere without equipment, and they’ll have you burning fat and fighting ageing in no time.