We're often told about the benefits for exercise for a multitude of diseases but now researches have found that certain types of training are also great for reversing the declining ability of our cells to generate energy.
A recent New Scientist article explained how Sreekumaran Nair at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota assigned two groups of people (1 group between 18-30 years and 1 group aged between 65 and 80) a course of either weight training, high intensity interval training (HIIT) or a combination of both.
The results showed that interval training boosted the energy rate of the mitochondria within cells by 49 percent in the younger age group and 69 per cent in the older group. A reduction in mitochondrial activity can aggravate fatigue and also be a risk factor for diabetes so these results were certainly significant. "After 3 months of interval training, everything converged towards what we saw in young people" says Nair.
Those doing regular interval training also saw surges in lung, heart and circulation health. The amount of oxygen they could inhale and consume rose by 28 per cent for the younger group and 17 per cent for the older participants.
The group doing weight training gained muscle mass but didn't benefit from the mitochondrial and respiratory benefits, whereas the group with a combination routine saw only intermediate results.
So, looks like if you want to keep fit and healthy for a long as possible, HIIT is the way to go!