Exercise is said to help reverse ageing. But what type of exercise? Researchers at Mayo Clinic set out to find that. With age, body’s aerobic capacity, insulin sensitivity, and ability to synthesize new proteins reduce. Muscle wasting and weakness is also common in older adults.
The researchers tested the effects of two types of common exercises plus a combination of them:
- High intensity interval training or HIIT included alternate short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with light recovery period. This was done 6 days a week, and had 30-45 minutes of intense activity like cycling or speed walking.
- Resistance training was done 2 days each a week. It was for strength building and involved upper and lower body exercises, working against resistance of weights.
Supervision during these exercises is vital for older adults due to various frailties they may be carrying. The scientists found that:
- All exercises improved insulin sensitivity, aerobic capacity, and lean muscle mass.
- Resistance exercises improved muscle strength.
- HIIT exercises improved the ability to synthesize proteins, which is the main marker of ageing.
If you have to choose one exercise for reversal of ageing, the researchers advise the latter. However, combining the benefits, to reverse or slow down ageing:
- Do 30-45 min of supervised high-intensity interval training, four times a week;
- Add resistance or weight training, twice a week.
Published on: 8th August, 2022
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