Researchers already recognize that exercise improves sleep, reduces depression, provides “waist management”, maintains muscle, and boosts immunity. Scientists have now found that certain types of exercise may help regenerate key cells that normally decline with aging. An article published in Cell Metabolism magazine showed that HIIT (high intensity interval training) with cardiovascular exercises like biking and walking induced cells to produce energy-making and protein-building organelles, which help halt aging at the cellular level.

36 women and 36 men aged 18-30 years old (“young group’”) and volunteers aged 65-80 years old (“older group”) was divided into three different exercise programs: one in which volunteers did high-intensity interval biking, one where volunteers used weights and did strength training, and one that used both strength training and interval training. 

The biggest benefits at the cellular level were seen with HIIT. A 49% increase in energy producing capacity was observed in the younger volunteers and older subjects saw a 69% increase. Insulin sensitivity, which shows a lower risk of developing diabetes was also seen in the interval training groups. Similar to brain and heart cells, muscle cells wear out over time and are not replaced easily. All three of these tissues are known to decline with aging and accumulate damage. If exercise rejuvenates or stops degradation of muscle cells, it may do so in other tissues. Investigating how exercise impacts these pathways may make aging more targetable. There is plenty of data to promote the idea that exercise is vitally important to delay or prevent aging. 

Fitness experts suggest 2-3 HIIT workouts per week every other day. Beginners can start with 10-30 minutes. Need HIIT ideas? Try these:

To warm up:

March or jog in place for 30 seconds.

Stand tall and circle one arm at a time backwards, as if you’re pretending to do the backstroke for 30 seconds each.

Do a front lunge, side lunge, and back lunge using the same leg, then switch to the other leg and repeat. Continue for one minute.

20-minute workout:

Do 15-20 repetitions of each exercise with a 10-second break between each. Set a timer for 20 minutes and repeat the exercises until it goes off.

Push-ups: Do traditional pushups or place your hands on a stable chair instead of the floor. Or, do push-ups with your knees resting on the ground.

Squats: Keep feet under your hips and your bodyweight in your heels.

Butt kicks: Walk or jog in place, kicking your first your right heel up to touch your butt, then your left. 

Tricep dips: Place your hands on a chair or a low table, with your back to the chair. Place legs straight out while balancing on your palms. Bending from your elbows, lower as far as you can, then press up to original position.

Side Lunges: With your bodyweight in your heels and your toes facing forwards, step to the left in a deep lateral lunge, keeping your knee above your toes. Switch legs and repeat.

DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information is for informational purposes and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any illness. Consult a physician before taking any action.

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