Regular interval training can reverse age-related changes of the body

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester found that high-intensity interval training effectively helps protect the body from the effects of aging. The physicians published the results of their study in the journal "Cell Metabolism".

Exercise also leads to many health improvements in old age. So-called high-intensity interval training even seems to reverse some of the effects of age on the body.(Image: Kzenon /

What is High-Intensity Interval Training?
High Intensity Interval Training involves brief leaps of intense aerobic activity within a range of more moderate exercises. This means, for example, that you sprint for 30 seconds while jogging, explains the author. Sreekumaran Nair of the Mayo Clinic.

subjects performed different training programs
For their study, the researchers examined women and men from two different age groups. The young participants were between the ages of 18 and 30 years. The older group consisted of people between the ages of 65 and 80 years. These subjects were then divided into three mixed age groups and participated in various differently managed training programs, explain the researchers. These programs went over a period of three months.

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High-Intensity Interval Group Training Content
The High Intensity Interval Training Group cycled three days a week. Between cycling with a low intensity there were always intervals with a high intensity, explain the authors. Two days a week, the subjects additionally trained on a treadmill at moderate speed.

The second group only performed strength training through
. Another group dealt with strength training. During the exercises, the lower muscles were trained two days a week. On two other days, the upper body muscles were then trained, explain the experts.

Third group uses a combined program of exercises
The third group performed a combined training. This consisted of less strenuous endurance exercises than the first group. Also, strength training was done with higher weights but fewer repetitions than the second group. These exercises took place five days a week, add the physicians.

Experts Evaluate Different Aspects of Physiology
There were significant differences in the time the groups spent training with each other. Before and after each training session, researchers assessed various aspects of the physiology of each subject. These included, for example, the body mass index( BMI), the amount of muscle mass and the insulin sensitivity, which may be an indication of diabetes, explain the authors. In addition, routine biopsies were performed on the volunteers. With the help of a biochemical analysis, a so-called comprehensive fingerprint of the muscles could be created.

Any Form of Physical Exercise Improves Overall Performance
In analyzing the collected data, Dr. Ing. Nair and his colleagues found that all forms of exercise had improved overall performance. In addition, increased insulin sensitivity was less likely to develop diabetes.

High-Intensity Interval Training Greater Benefits at the Cellular Level
Although all types of exercises resulted in muscular build-up, strength training was most effective for building muscle mass and improving strength, which typically decreases with age, the researchers report. At the cellular level, the highest benefits have been achieved through high-intensity interval training, the researchers explain. Specifically, in the so-called HIIT group, according to the researchers, the younger participants in the study reported an increase of 49 percent in the so-called mitochondrial capacities. Among the older participants, an increase of 69 percent was recorded.

Interval Training Improves Insulin Sensitivity
The interval training also improved the insulin sensitivity of the volunteers. This improvement was stronger than any other form of exercise. The scientists compared protein concentration data to understand why interval training leads to such benefits.

Low-Protein Human Production of Protein Molecules Decreases
Proteins suffer damage from the effects of our environment. The damaged proteins have to be replaced by newly synthesized( produced) proteins, reports Exerten. With age, the production of many protein molecules in motion-poor people. The gradually reduced amount of these protein molecules will cause a functional decline.

High-Intensity Interval Training Improves Protein Production
Training performed, especially HIIT, improved protein production and increased protein abundance in the muscles. The significant increase in mitochondrial function, especially in the elderly, is related to increased protein delivery in the muscles, the authors explain.

HIIT appears to reverse the age-related decline in some cases
HIIT in some cases seems to actually reverse the age-related decline in both mitochondrial and muscle building proteins. The effects of training can lead to a transformation of the mitochondria. This could explain why physical activity and exercise support our health in so many different ways, scientists say.

Results May Lead to the Development of Specific Drugs
Because muscle, brain, and heart cells wear out and are not easily replaceable, the function of these three types of tissues decreases with age, explains author. Nair. If exercise prevents or restores the deterioration of mitochondria and ribosomes in muscle cells, such training may also have the same effect on other tissues, the expert speculates. The findings may allow researchers to develop drugs that provide some of the benefits of exercise. This would especially help people who can not do sports training for health reasons. Nair.(as)

experts examine the effects of different training methods
Sufficient exercise is important for general physical health. Any form of activity is better for the human body than a sedentary lifestyle. Researchers now found that so-called High Intensity Interval Training( HIIT) is highly efficient at reversing many age-related changes.

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