High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a work out that blends intensive exercises with rest or low-intensity workouts. A group of seniors between the age of 65 and 80 was broken into three sections for a study on workouts.
One group followed the HIIT routine with a mix of treadmill and cycling. One group performed strength training exercises twice a week. The third group did a mix of both strength training for a short period of time and cycling at a medium pace. The group who performed the HIIT routine saw increases in many aspects of their health.
What Was Their Workout Like
The HIIT group was given a 12-week routine that involved three days of fast cycling for four minutes followed by three minutes of slow, easy cycling. They repeated this four times in their exercise session. Two days a week, they skipped the cycling routine completely and walked on a treadmill for 45 minutes instead.
After 12 weeks of the HIIT routine, participants reversed some signs of aging. Those 65 and older saw a 69 percent increase in energy production within their cells. People who did the HIIT exercise program saw their body fat totals decrease. Their blood sugar levels dropped. Muscle mass and cardiovascular health improved.
What the Experts Say
Any exercise is better than sitting in a chair or on the sofa all day. Experts do say that if a senior is able to get on and off a treadmill or stationary bicycle, HIIT exercise programs are excellent at improving some of the changes that come with aging. It’s a good way to improve muscle strength and possibly stop prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes.
Pair the HIIT exercises with a diet rich in fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. Many seniors will see noticeable improvements to their physical health and stamina by making these changes.
Seniors Need a Strong Support Team Too
Before a senior starts any new fitness program, doctors need to be alerted. There may be underlying health issues that indicate HIIT training is not a good idea. If it is okay, it’s often better to start a new program under the guidance of a professional trainer.
At home, the support of a caregiver is helpful. Caregivers can supervise activities and make sure breaks are taken when necessary. Caregivers can also help with diet and make sure the senior drinks enough water during the day. Call our senior care agency to learn more about the services caregivers offer.