We all dream of the mythical fountain of youth. As fitness professionals, you’d expect us to say that regular exercise and clean eating greatly benefit your life. But what if we could tell you with increased confidence that exercise can halt or even reverse the aging of your body?
Big stuff, but the evidence is stronger than ever.
Aging happens at the cellular level, when cells lose some or all of their ability to generate energy. But get this: a study at Mayo Clinic found that high intensity interval training (HIIT) actually reversed the cell aging process by boosting cells’ ability to generate energy, by 60 percent among older people, and 49 percent in younger groups. The study also showed that HIIT increases our ability to burn excess blood sugar, reducing the risk of diabetes.
HIIT combines short, high-intensity bursts of exercise with recovery phases throughout a 15- to 30-minute session. High-intensity bursts are done at 85 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate, significantly higher than the 50 to 75 percent typical in endurance activity.
HIIT also increases the rate at which fat is burned, resulting in weight loss. And it has been shown to depress production of the hormones that stimulate appetite, helping many people avoid cravings, especially for sweets. It can also improve the function of lungs, heart and circulation—all benefits that translate directly to a longer, healthier life.
Jill Strand and Chris Radke are owners and certified trainers at UpLift Guided Fitness in Woodbury.