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High intensity interval training has been described as the "holy grail" of exercise. It's a short, intense period of exercise that is known to burn more calories, break through plateaus and shed pounds.
While it can in fact burn more calories than your normal workout routine because you are really pushing yourself during those period of high intensity, there is a new claim that is really making headlines now. High intensity interval training can reverse ageing.
But can it really?
There was a research article published in the journal Cell Metabolism in March, 2017. The study found that HIIT reverses signs of aging at the cellular level, which is true, but it doesn't explain the entire picture when it comes to ageing.
According to Popular Science, this study found that the participants who participated in HIIT workouts for 12 weeks improved several general markers of health, like insulin sensitivity and muscle strength. It also reversed some changes in protein expression that are linked to aging, including some related to mitochondrial function. Mitochondria tend to worsen as we get older so improving their effectiveness helps to fight off the effects of ageing.
As the author of the Popular Science article, says "What’s still missing is the link between these cellular findings and meaningful outcomes for people. It’s great that HIIT helps our mitochondria to work better—it can only help our overall health. But it's hard to say exactly what that improved mitochondrial function will mean for you personally."
Bottom Line? HIIT exercise is a great tool for your exercise tool box. But it's not the only tool. Continue to do your regular workouts and add in HIIT training a few times a week to burn more calories and keep things fun. Continue to eat well and live a healthy, active lifestyle. All of these activities combined are the best way to age gracefully.
Download a free HIIT walking workout that I create here.
Fitness trackers that can be worn on your wrist are very popular because of their convenience and ease of use. They can track several fitness markers, such as distance traveled, steps taken, calories burned and heart rate.
A new study set out to determine if these wrist worn fitness trackers are as accurate at tracking heart rate as the old fashioned chest strap heart rate monitor.
Researchers tested five different wrist worn fitness trackers across various types of exercise and intensity levels.
They found that "the standard chest strap was the most accurate regardless of the intensity of the workout or whether someone was using the treadmill, elliptical or stationery bike."
50 volunteers participated in this study and they tested the Apple Watch, Fitbit Blaze, Garmin Forerunner 235, and TomTom Spark Cardio. Volunteers were tested when doing light, moderate and high intensity exercise performing three types of activities, including the treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical.
The chest strap monitor closely matched readings from the electrocardiogram (EKG), which is the gold standard for measuring the heart's activity.
The wrist worn trackers were acceptable at reporting heart rate when at rest or on the treadmill but were inaccurate when tracking heart rate on the bike or elliptical.
What's useful about this study is that we are in an age of self monitoring our physical activity and health. Wrist worn fitness trackers are easy to use, to wear and are reasonably priced. But, we need to realize that they may not be as accurate as we believe them to be.
Due to the small sample size of this study, more research is needed to verify these results.
It certainly is an interesting area of research and I do believe that we will continue to see more research assessing the accuracy of wrist worn fitness trackers.
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Discover how to combine bodyweight exercises with your fitness walking routine to build stronger muscles, healthier bones and achieve higher levels of fitness.
My children bought me a Fitbit for Christmas and it really helps motivate me. I am always looking for new ways to get my steps in. One thing that proved