If you have a hardcore skin care routine and never skip the sunscreen, you’re definitely helping your skin stay youthful. But new research shows there’s one workout that’s really your skin’s biggest ally when it comes to ageing: high-intensity interval training (HIIT). According to a new study from the Mayo Clinic, HIIT can basically stop cellular aging in its tracks.
Researchers wanted to know more about how exercise affects the mitochondria, which are the “powerhouses” of our cells that create over 90% of the energy we need to sustain life and support organ function. They split participants into two groups, men and women between 18 and 30, and men and women from 65 to 80. They were assigned a three-month training program that included HIIT, strength training, or a combo of both.
As expected, the strength training group had the biggest improvements in muscle mass, but the HIIT group was affected by their training on a molecular level. And their mitochondrial function, which typically declines with age, improved by 49% in the younger group and 69% with the older group.
So basically, nothing beats exercise when it comes to preventing or delaying aging. “These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine,” explains the study’s lead author Sreekumaran Nair. “Based on everything we know, there’s no substitute for these exercise programs when it comes to delaying the ageing process.”