Lace up your shoes and head down the block. The fountain of youth could be waiting for you.
There’s little question that exercise can help you stay healthy. When you have health, you have youth. The words are nearly synonymous.
But there is one type of exercise that may beat the rest when it comes to anti-aging. High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short, may be best at slowing or even reversing aging at the cellular level.
HIIT certainly sounds scary, but it could be a lot more manageable than you think. It involves short bursts of high effort exercise followed by a similar period of low-intensity activity or rest. The formula is repeated for 15-20 minutes, usually a couple of times per week.
Research shows this type of exercise can have multiple benefits, including:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Better respiratory health
- Fat loss
- Enhanced glucose metabolism/control
But it’s effects on cell aging may be of particular interest to you. In a study group of people over 65, participants performing HIIT showed significant signs of age reversal in cells compared to those performing moderate exercise or strength training.
HIIT increased cells’ ability to take in oxygen and produce energy, significant signs of healthy cell function. These abilities generally decline with age and result in age-related changes (aka aging).
So, how is this fountain of youth just a block away? All you have to do is pick up the pace between blocks to get the benefit of HIIT. Leave your house at a slow pace to get the blood flow going, then pick it up to moderate so that you’re nice and loose.
After about five or 10 minutes, set your sites a few blocks away and pick up the pace. Go as fast as you can for 20 or 30 seconds, then slow it right back down again for about a minute. Repeat that cycle 10 or 12 times (for a total of 15-20 mins) and call it a day!
Performing 1-2 bouts of HIIT per week is all you need to achieve results. As you get fitter, you’ll be able to move faster, so don’t get discouraged!