I for one have dreamt for many years that one day a super-super smart scientist would fathom the ultimate code in Pandora’s box, age reversal. The scientists at the Mayo Clinic do not say things that sound like it’s taken from a Marvel Comic BUT they might be very close.
Researchers say they've figured out what kind of intensity of exercise you should do, the exercises themselves and for how long to exercise for, to "reverse the aging process in adults."
That's a HUGE claim, so what the hell is it?
H.I.I.T – High Intensity Interval Training.
Mayo’s researchers pulled in hundreds of adult recruits for this study and filtered them do to a hand picked 72. They then divided up into two select age groups; 18-30 and 65-80 year olds. After this they had them engage in different types of exercise systems over 12 weeks and tracked their metabolic and molecular changes in each participant of each group and observed the changes.
The test subjects where subject to 3 different styles of regime:
A) High intensity interval training (workouts that alternate short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods).
B) Weight Training (activity focused more on strength, working against resistance from mainly weights or body weight)
C) A combination of both high-intensity interval training and weight training.
As expected, the scientists found that ANY kind of exercise was good for the body and beneficial. But interestingly, they found that the H.I.I.T type training when done by the older members "reversed some manifestations of aging in the body's protein function," according to the Mayo report.
In our world, which is much more exciting, high-intensity interval training "significantly enhanced the cellular machinery responsible for making new proteins. That contributes to protein synthesis, thus reversing a major adverse effect of aging."
Can this be true and is it exciting?
OK, we don’t have a Flux capacitor (like in Back to the Future film) No, it’s not time travel or walking on water, and not quite the fountain of youth, I do think this is interesting as it’s pointing out that people can exercise a certain way and slow down the metabolic aging process.
More to be had, including better cardiovascular health, muscle increase and insulin sensitivity improved and it didn’t matter which exercises the subjects did.
As the senior researcher on the study, K. Sreekumaran Nair, stated:
"We encourage everyone to exercise regularly, but the take-home message for aging adults is that supervised high-intensity training is probably best, because, both metabolically and at the molecular level, it confers the most benefits."
Very interesting to add also, but expected: muscle strength increased "only modestly with high-intensity interval training but occurred with resistance training alone or when added to the aerobic training."
Here are my go-to exercises to form a 30 minute H.I.I.T circuit training routine: