How Older Adults Can Benefit from a HIIT Workout
June 3, 2019
Staying active is one of the best ways for seniors to maintain their health, but it isn’t always obvious which activities are most appropriate.
Plenty of people find that low-impact exercise is enough for them, and for some seniors, that is the case. However, many older adults will enjoy a more vigorous workout.
This is where HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) comes in. Not only can HIIT keep seniors active, but it has a host of other benefits, too.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. This might sound intimidating, but all it really means is that you do short bursts of intense activity followed by a rest period. Many fitness enthusiasts of all ages prefer it because it is convenient and extremely effective for burning calories and building muscle.
How Can Older Adults Benefit From HIIT?
This style of workout is great for all ages and fitness levels, but seniors in particular can benefit from the following advantages.
- Improved memory
Believe it or not, studies have shown that older adults can gain improved memory with consistent HIIT workouts. One study in particular found that just six weeks of HIIT for short periods of time led to noticeably better recall in adults over 50.
- Reversed muscle decline
An inevitable part of aging is the loss of muscle mass. Another study found that older adults who perform HIIT-style training experience better mitochondrial health. The mitochondria are the “powerhouse” of your cells and improving their condition supports cellular function.
In a sense, this type of exercise can “correct” poor muscle health for many seniors.
- Lowered glucose levels
If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, HIIT may be especially helpful for you. While any exercise is better than nothing, HIIT has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels after only a few weeks of consistent practice. Researchers are not completely sure why, but multiple studies have confirmed this finding.
Safely Performing HIIT Can Be Great For Your Health
It’s important to practice HIIT safely. Focus on learning good form and correct breathing before you begin the actual interval training, and don’t hesitate to ask a trainer or doctor for help so that you don’t risk injury.
HIIT can be modified and tailored to your needs, and the overall health benefits for seniors are amazing. Learn about the health and wellbeing services offered at Tapestry here.