Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
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High-Intensity Exercise: Fountain of Youth for Seniors?

The health benefits of exercise are well-established for people of all ages. But until now, little has been known about which type of exercise best counters the aging process in senior citizens.

The answer may be high-intensity interval training, suggests a new study published in Cell Metabolism by researchers from the Mayo Clinic.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) alternates short bursts of intense aerobic activity such as biking or walking with short periods of easing up on the same activity.

This type of exercise, which originated in Sweden, is promoted as an efficient training method that avoids the risk of injuries associated with non-stop, repetitive activity.

Compared to other types of exercise, it appears to be dramatically more effective at boosting the activity of aging cells and even reversing age-related cellular damage.
 

The Mayo Clinic researchers recruited 72 healthy but sedentary men and women from two age groups: “young” subjects ages 18-30 and “older” subjects ages 65-80.

The researchers conducted baseline measurements of aerobic fitness, lean muscle mass, blood-sugar levels, and insulin sensitivity. After taking biopsies from the subjects’ thighs, they also assessed genetic activity in muscle cells and the health of the energy-producing mitochondria within those cells.

As we age, mitochondrial capacity gradually deteriorates. As a result, cells become damaged and weak.

The researchers randomly assigned subjects to one of three groups:

HIIT on stationary bicycles. Three days per week, they pedaled hard for four minutes, eased up for three minutes, then repeated the sequence three more times. On other days, they did a moderate treadmill routine,

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Moderate-intensity training. Three days per week, they pedaled on stationary bikes for 30 minutes. On other days, they lifted light weights.

Vigorous weight training. Participants engaged in weight lifting several times per week.

No exercise. A fourth group did not engage in organized physical activity.

After 12 weeks, the researchers found that all three exercise groups experienced significant gains in fitness and blood-sugar regulation compared to non-exercisers.

As expected, they found that the high-intensity interval training group had the biggest improvement in endurance while the weight training group had the biggest improvement in muscle mass and strength.

But they were astonished to find that high-intensity interval training was most strongly associated with age-reversing changes at the genetic and cellular levels.

In the “younger” group assigned to high-intensity interval training, the activity level changed in 274 genes. That compared to activity-level changes in 170 genes in the moderate-intensity training group and 74 genes in the weight training group.

Genetic changes were even more dramatic in the “older” group assigned to high-intensity interval training. They saw activity-level changes in nearly 400 genes. That compared to activity-level changes in only 33 genes in the weight training group and only 19 genes in the moderate-intensity training group.

High-intensity interval training had a similar effect on mitochondrial capacity: a 49 percent increase in the “younger” group and a whopping 69 percent increase in the “older” group.

This type of exercise also led to improved insulin sensitivity, which is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes.

The researchers cautioned that their primary goal was to show how exercise works at a molecular level, not to provide prescriptive exercise for seniors or anyone else. They hope to learn more about how exercise benefits different tissues in the body.

For the time being, they say that vigorous exercise remains the most effective way to bolster health.

“There are substantial basic science data to support the idea that exercise is critically important to prevent or delay aging. There’s no substitute for that,” senior author Dr. Sreekumaran Nair said in a statement.

Most experts agree that many older adults can participate in an age-appropriate high-intensity interval training program that takes into account their physical limitations.

Older adults are more likely to have an underlying health issue such as osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension or a history heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.

So it’s essential for them to consult with their primary care provider and take a cardio-stress test before beginning a new exercise program, especially one that involves vigorous activity.

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "High-Intensity Exercise: Fountain of Youth for Seniors?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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Our Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive, cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, practical strength training, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries.

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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "High-Intensity Exercise: Fountain of Youth for Seniors?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*