Discover how high intensity interval training workouts stave off the ravages of time.
A few posts ago, we talked about how much cardio you really need to improve your quality of life and supplement your training. As it turns out, it doesn't take much… just a twenty minute walk at a brisk pace can significantly impact activity levels and increase average life expectancy.
Well, I want to continue the theme, by showing you how a quick blast of activity can help you combat ageing and stave off the ravages of time.
Firstly, let's begin with the good news. Forget what many of the health experts have been telling you. The current Government guidelines that promote seven days a week exercise aren't as effective as we have been led to believe.
In fact, we can do better.
What REALLY counts, is that you give your all-out effort - this is where High Intensity Training (HIT) comes to your rescue.
Here in the UK, the NHS currently recommends adults aged 65 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active for two hours (or more) per week engaged in moderate-intensity activities such as cycling or fast walking.
Guidelines also encourage strength training on two or more days per week that work all the major muscle groups.
Yet these guidelines are being rigorously challenged by the latest research.
So what got the scientists so excited?
Well, it seems you don't need to exercise for seven days per week like the current Government guidelines suggest. In fact, you can enjoy all the anti-ageing benefits by breaking your activity into tiny, bite size intervals.
This latest research tested HIT on older people aged 60 to 73. They were divided into two groups, with one acting as a control.
Each twice weekly session consisted of six-second all out sprints on an exercise bike, with the number of sprints in each session being progressively increased from six to ten sets.
One minute recovery time was allowed between each set, with their sprints not to be resumed until their heart rates had returned to 120 beats per minute.
And here is the really cool part...
The researchers found the "functional capacity" of those performing HIT "significantly improved" by between 15 to 20 percent.
Total exercise time? Just two minutes.
Lead researcher Dr Babraj from Abertay University in Dundee, said: 'When it comes to the sprints, you don't have to go at the speed of someone like Usain Bolt. As long as you are putting in your maximal effort, whatever speed that happens to be, it will improve your health.'
The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, and shows how high intensity interval training workouts are key for anyone wanting to combat ageing.
The benefits to you?
You get to enjoy all the cardio benefits in less time.