HIIT: The Ideal Exercise for Healthy Aging
In the ever changing world of health and fitness, there’s always something new. The good thing is that we always have fresh new stuff to try! With new ways of looking at exercise we are able to take stock of our own health and fitness level.
As we age, we start to look for the fountain of youth. Gray hair, wrinkles and sore joints begin to creep in and take over. And then the aches and pains settle in, taking longer to go away, and somewhere along the way we come to the realization (or maybe “grudging acceptance” is a better description for it), that we’re not going to stay young forever.
But aging doesn’t have to be such a downer though; there is a lot of goodness that comes with being a little more… experienced…in life.
Having a long and fruitful relationship with exercise helps to keep things fresh, keep you in touch with your body, and explore your own boundaries. Fitness is all about reaching a little further- running a little harder, lifting a little more, and generally being better than we were yesterday. And that’s just one reason why HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) may be your next best thing, even as you get older.
High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is pretty much what it sounds like: short bursts of high-intensity movement, interspersed with short periods of rest. You can see early versions of this theory in things like interval runs, and a technique called Fartlek, wherein a runner picks up the pace for a short period of time, varying the terrain they run, to challenge the body in new ways. It eliminates boredom, and it trains the body in a more all-around way. (1)
HIIT Aging Where It Hurts
Why is it so great for aging bodies? A few reasons.
First, with the aging process, you begin to notice that things happen in a chain reaction. For example, you twist your ankle when you’re hiking one weekend. The next thing you know you haven’t been to the gym in a month and your lower back hurts again like it did years ago. You want to go work out and get back in fighting shape but it hurts! As a result, you keep putting off. It happens to the best of us. But this is the exact chain reaction that will lead to a long term relationship with your couch, if you don’t do something about it right now.
Regular HIIT workouts target a whole bunch of things all at once, integrating strength, balance and cardio exercises. All of these things have to be used together to keep your body in action. HIIT asks every part of you to get on board. This means there’s less of a chance for the snowball effect, turning an injury into a couch marathon. HIIT builds an all-around strong and healthy body, whether you’re 20 years old or 60, which is a beautiful thing! So skipping leg day (again, for the 100th time) isn’t really an option. Leg day is built right into your (astonishingly short) HIIT workout.
Second, HIIT workouts are astonishingly short. Four minutes is normal, twenty minutes is quite a lot. (2) Most exercises are 30 seconds of intensity followed by 30 seconds of rest- giving a nice rhythm so it’s easy to get into the groove. And because these intervals are relatively short, you can really push yourself hard. It’s this added effort that scientists say provides an impressive impact on your mitochondria…impacting your body at the cellular level.
Taking a daily supplement like AgelessLX not only helps retain and build muscle mass but also makes that post-workout recovery smoother, especially after an the intense workout that HIIT provides. Its key ingredient, Calcium HMB (beta hydroxy beta methylbutyrate), a compound with over 90 clinical studies and 6 US Patents is proven to:
- Reduce muscle loss
- Improve post-workout recovery/soreness
- Enhance fat loss when combined with diet
- Enhance muscle strength when combined with exercise
- Increase stamina
Cells Feel The HIIT Too
The short story of mitochondria is that they are cells which help convert proteins to energy. When we’re younger, these babies are really efficient. But, as we age, they lose steam. They just aren’t as efficient at converting proteins and as a result we lose energy and vitality.
But researchers recently found that interval training, like HIIT, has a natural knack for boosting the body’s ability to build mitochondrial proteins. When the mitochondria can do their thing, that means the magic is back! (3) No, it’s not the fountain of youth. But with the ability to convert proteins like they once could, your mitochondrial DNA has effectively won the battle for now! Continued HIIT sessions just mean you’ll continue to get stronger, and that’s great news for every part of you…down to the very cells you’re made of.
No matter where you are on the path toward optimal fitness, it’s never too late to start. Pick up your body and move it! Before long you’ll begin seeing benefits. There is nothing more empowering than getting stronger, and nothing more fun than a happy body that can move and play. Do what you can, the key is to START! Your body will love you for it!
Watch a Video Podcast!
Catch Dr. Elke Cooke on the Evolving Ageless video podcast The Ideal Workout for Women over 40. In this episode she discusses how muscle strength is the key to all things aging when it comes to body composition and hormone balance. According to Dr. Cooke, the greatest impact we can have on our aging is when we focus on our muscle strength. You’ll definitely want to tune in!
Every week the Evolving Ageless video podcast takes you into the minds and behind the scenes of doctors, clinicians and many other experts in the health and beauty field – covering a variety of topics specifically for women! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!
We all want to live vibrant lives for as long as possible. HIIT workouts are short and sweet with an intense punch. By adding exercise, making sure you eat a well balanced diet and taking supplements like AgelessLX can help make sure this happens!