Diet might ultimately be more impactful for weight loss, but don't take that as a cue to cut out your fitness routine altogether. To the contrary, more and more research to support the benefits of working out seems to emerge on a near-daily basis: From sleeping more soundly and boosting your mood to ensuring your metabolism is humming along at the highest speed possible, the reasons for logging regular sweat sessions abound.
And now, we can effectively add time travel to this ever-growing list. While scientists and fitness pros alike have told us for years that exercising regularly can keep us young, new research zeroes in on the exact workout that delivers on this promise most effectively—in fact, the Mayo Clinic says that this particular fitness regimen can "reverse the ageing process" altogether. Keep reading to find out exactly how you should be working out for eternal youth.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is officially the Mediterranean diet of working out—it can seriously do no wrong. These bursts of aerobic exercises are quick, convenient and keep your metabolism churning long after you completed your workout, which effectively means you're burning fat with minimal effort. And now, scientists can confirm that this workout strategy can also reverse the clock.
According to scientists at the Mayo Clinic, new research demonstrates that HIIT can reverse some aspects of ageing on a cellular level: The aerobic activity essentially enhances the way our cells produce protein—and since diminished protein synthesis is one of the most adverse signs of ageing, this is quite notable.
"We encourage everyone to exercise regularly, but the take-home message for ageing adults that supervised high-intensity training is probably best, because, both metabolically and at the molecular level, it confers the most benefits," says K. Sreekumaran Nair, an endocrinologist who helped lead the study.
But the study found that the benefits of HIIT hardly stop there: Participants also improved their cardiorespiratory health, muscle mass and insulin sensitivity, as well as the gene expression of their muscles. Another key takeaway from the scientists is that in order to significantly improve muscle tone, it's a good idea to add resistance training into your routine as well.
So maybe it's time to consider logging a quick workout as part of your anti-aging regimen—after all, you only need four minutes.