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These 2 workouts may help prevent cellular aging
Exercise is hard work, but it pays. Adding to the many reasons to get moving is repeatedly compelling research about two exercise methods that can help prevent cellular aging: high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and endurance training.
What are these exercise methods, and why do they work?
The anti-aging response
In a study published in the European Heart Journal, researchers examined the cellular effects of different exercise interventions. Over 6 months, 124 participants were instructed to perform one of three modalities: endurance training, HIIT, or resistance training (using free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises to increase muscular strength). Some participants were assigned to a control group and instructed to make no change to their exercise regimen.
After 6 months, researchers found that HIIT and endurance training, but not resistance training, increased telomerase activity, which is beneficial for cell growth and replication. Telomeres are nucleotide sequences found at the end of chromosomes that protect our genetic information. When they shorten, cellular aging occurs. HIIT and endurance training were found to increase telomere length, inhibiting cell death, and ultimately producing an anti-aging effect.
Similar results were reported in Cell Metabolism, in a study that compared the metabolic responses from HIIT and resistance training. Participants were placed in cohorts by age (<30 and >65), and randomized to one of three exercise routines: HIIT, resistance training, or a combination of both. After 12 weeks, all exercise routines resulted in improved fitness, boosted insulin sensitivity, and increased lean mass, but HIIT training increased aerobic capacity and mitochondrial function, leading to a reduction in mitochondrial decay, which contributes to aging.
For older adults, HIIT training yielded the most significant reversal in cellular aging. Participants over 65 saw a 69% increase in mitochondrial respiration—the metabolic process within mitochondria that converts energy into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the universal energy donor in our cells. Additionally, adults under 30 saw a 49% increase. Resistance training did not provide this effect in either age group.
According to senior author Sreekumaran Nair, MD, PhD, “Any exercise is better than being sedentary.” Still, he noted that for older adults, HIIT is a highly efficient way to counteract many age-related changes.
Best part? HIIT training has also been proven to be the best exercise method to reduce body fat.
Huge benefits, little time commitment
HIIT has gained popularity because it brings powerful benefits without a large time commitment, especially compared with endurance training, which requires long stretches of time. This was demonstrated in a research trial following two groups of sedentary men: one group performing a 10-minute workout with sprint intervals, and another performing 50 minutes of continuous exercise. After 12 weeks, researchers found that both groups saw equal improvements in cardiometabolic health, despite the 40-minute difference in time commitment. In summary, research shows us that HIIT is more efficient than endurance training.
Effectiveness is a different question. Fortunately, it can be answered simply. Which of these routines are you most likely to stick to? That’s the most effective anti-aging workout for you.
“Not everyone reacts to exercise in the same way,” said Daniel Green, PhD, a professor of exercise science at the University of Western Australia, in an interview with The New York Times. “But there is something out there that will benefit almost everyone.”
HIIT and endurance training
HIIT combines short bursts of all-out exercise followed by short periods of rest. Intense work intervals generally last from 15 seconds to 4 minutes, and are performed to achieve 80% to 95% of a person’s maximum heart rate. Recovery intervals last about the same time and are performed at a much lower intensity: 40% to 50% of maximum heart rate. The work/recovery interval is repeated several times, comprising a quick workout between 10 to 40 minutes total. A HIIT regimen can involve treadmills or rowing machines, bodyweight exercises, free weights, or no equipment at all.
Here’s an example of a 10-minute beginner HIIT workout, completed in three rounds with no equipment. For each step, use maximum effort for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds:
- High kicks
- Jumping jacks
Keep in mind that this is just a single example. The exercises can vary, so swap in your favorite moves. The key is to dig deep and use maximum effort, regardless of exercise type.
Endurance training is a continuous form of exercise, typically performed at sub-maximal intensity for sessions that range from 30 minutes to several hours. This type of training aims to build endurance, which allows a person to exert long bouts of effort without becoming fatigued. Popular endurance sports such as running, swimming, and cycling are good examples of endurance training, characterized by repeated isotonic contractions of large muscle groups. You can also practice endurance training by performing just about any aerobic exercise (jump rope, lunges, dancing, kickboxing, and more) at a low level of resistance over relatively long periods of time without rests, or with minimal rests in between.
of developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Consume fruit in its whole, natural form, and avoid syrups or any processed fruits with added sugar, which have the tendency to spike your blood sugar. Stick to the produce aisle and the freezer section of your grocery store. If you’re using the glycemic index (GI) or glycemic load — measures of how foods affect your blood sugar levels — to make dietary decisions, most whole fruits are a good choice because they tend to lie low on these rankings.
When you have diabetes, these steps will help you keep your blood sugar within a healthy range, thereby lowering your risk of certain diabetes complications, including neuropathy (nerve damage), kidney disease, eyesight issues like glaucoma, cataracts, or diabetic retinopathy, and life-threatening illnesses like heart disease and stroke.
Berries for a Refreshing Treat and Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
Tart Cherries Help Fight Inflammation
Sweet, Juicy Peaches for Metabolism-Boosting Potassium
Apricots for a Scrumptious, Fiber-Rich Bite
Apples for a Quick Fibrous and Vitamin C–Rich Snack
Oranges for a Juicy, Refreshing Source of Vitamin C
Pears for Easy Snacking, Plus Vitamin K and Fiber
Studies have shown that periodic sessions of Intermittent Fasting (IF)— in which a person limits their meals to a certain window of time, with a fixed period of eating little or nothing — can boost weight loss, reduce waist circumference, and lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and total cholesterol, according to a review of research published in September 2021 in the journal Nutrients.
There are different ways to do IF, including skipping meals and eating only during a certain time period, or restricting calories on certain days of the week and eating normally on other days, according to the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists. The most common IF diets consist of a 16-hour daily fast, a 24-hour fast on alternate days, or a two-day-a-week fast on nonconsecutive days, according to the authors of the Nutrients analysis.
There are many schedules, however, I am not a big proponent of 24 hour fasts. It is very important to stay hydrated, and to replenish your body with liquid, chewable and / or capsule supplements during these fasting hours to help with cellular metabolism and cellular cleansing.
A risk of IF for people with diabetes, even for those without, is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. A study published in February 2018 in the journal Diabetic Medicine found that IF doubles the risk for hypoglycemia in people with type 2 diabetes. People who are on specific diabetes medications — sulfonylureas and insulin, in particular — may be at increased risk of this complication, which can be life threatening.
Certain people, such as those who are pregnant or breastfeeding or have an underlying disease or medical condition, should also avoid IF. Anytime you have a higher demand for more nutrition, you don’t want to do a fast, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding require extra calories for themselves and their babies, and fasting can cause them to run out of glucose and burn fat, tissue, and muscle. What’s more, if a pregnant person overproduces ketones (a compound that is produced when the body uses fat for fuel), the effect can be harmful to the fetus.
People with diabetes also run the risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, which occurs when your body doesn’t have enough insulin to move blood sugar into your cells for use as energy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When that happens, your liver responds by producing too many ketones, which can build up in the body and damage the kidneys as well as cause brain swelling. DKA may even lead to a diabetic coma or death.
Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle is considered one of the most effective approaches for lowering cholesterol to reduce heart disease risk, and here’s why: Inflammation is what causes the oxidation of circulating LDL (aka “bad” cholesterol), the process by which plaque deposits form in blood vessels, leading to heart disease. And this inflammation tends to stick around, creating a “pro-inflammatory environment” that leads to even more oxidative damage and changes in the ratio of “good” and “bad” cholesterol, which causes that buildup of plaque in blood vessels.
Watching fat intake is still important, since fats like saturated fat can trigger inflammation when you eat too much. However, focusing on eating more anti-inflammatory foods is now considered just as important. Check out these top eight anti-inflammatory foods to eat to lower cholesterol.
Curcumin, the Active Ingredient in Turmeric Root has proven multi-potential benefits on our tissues and cells besides being the most effective Compound to Therapeutically decrease Inflammation & Oxidative Stress. One other area of Therapeutic Value is pertaining to metabolism and the processing of our ingested sugars properly (Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose) , along with reducing fat storage, and promoting the browning of white fat. The histology of Brown Fat allows this type of fat to burn / metabolize into energy more readily and efficiently than white fat. Refer to the link below for info pertaining to Turmeric / Curcumin & Fat Metabolism.
Mediterranean, Ket0, Paleo & Dash are all diets which help promote Cellular Metabolism & Low-Glycemic Index, aiding the shedding of subcutaneous and visceral fat. However, the other common denominator which these diets share is the reduction of Inflammation in our cells and tissues. Thus, we see reduced mortality which is consistent with lower inflammation & oxidative stress (chronic inflammation)
Black Beans & Black-Eyed Peas
Black beans and black-eyed peas are two options, but really you can choose any assortment of beans and peas—just get in at least 3 cups a week. Eating this amount, particularly when consumed in place of higher-fat animal proteins or refined carbohydrates (like sugar, or white bread), is one of the best things to do for heart health. This is thanks to beans and peas being great sources of fiber (1/2 cup has 7 to 9 grams), which lowers cholesterol and inflammation. Look for ways to substitute or add in beans and peas during the week. If using canned, opt for no-salt-added, or rinse the beans, to reduce sodium.
Tomato sauce and canned tomatoes are top sources of the phytochemical lycopene, which research suggests acts as an antioxidant to halt the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and reduces inflammation. Lycopene is also found in watermelon, pink grapefruit, apricots and papaya, but because heat increases its bioavailability (or how much of it we actually absorb when we eat it), cooked or minimally processed sources are the best sources. In fact, tomato pastes, sauces, juices and other canned products offer up to five times more lycopene per cup compared to raw sources.
Remember the days when foods labeled “fat-free” and “cholesterol-free” were considered the healthier options? This approach wasn’t the most appetizing and, as it turns out, wasn’t that effective. But thanks to research on eating approaches like the Mediterranean Diet, thinking has changed. Today, the focus is on choosing healthier sources of fats and oils for both the prevention and management of high cholesterol and heart disease. And one of the best sources, according to the American Heart Association, is extra-virgin olive oil, which may provide extra benefit thanks to a unique anti-inflammatory compound in it called oleocanthal.
Sipping on black or green tea may combat high cholesterol and LDL levels thanks to phytochemicals, such as flavonols and catechins. These compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that research suggests may block key enzymes needed to create cholesterol in the body, as well as limit the absorption of some cholesterol from the food you eat. The overall effect is that drinking two to three cups per day has the potential to significantly reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Choose green over black for less caffeine, and keep tabs on overall intake if you’re also consuming other caffeinated beverages.
Working 1 to 2 ounces of walnuts into your diet each day is another good way to lower high cholesterol. Meta-analyses published in 2009 and 2015 found that both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were significantly reduced in those who ate walnuts daily. These effects are thought to stem from nutrients like heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, phytosterols (a type of antioxidant) and their associated anti-inflammatory effects. Partial to another nut? Other tree nuts like almonds and pistachios, as well as peanuts, offer similar benefits.
Adding in a little flaxseed each day has the potential to significantly reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol thanks to a type of fiber in them called lignans, as well as a group of antioxidants, called polyphenols, and an omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This nutrient combination has anti-inflammatory effects that are credited with significant improvements in the ratio of good and bad fats circulating in your system. Look for ways to add a little ground or whole flaxseed in each day, such as sprinkling it in hot or cold cereal, baked goods and smoothies.
Similar to other beans and legumes, soy foods like edamame and tofu are good sources of fiber, potassium, magnesium and phytosterol antioxidants, which keep cholesterol levels in check and ease inflammation, especially when consumed in place of animal-based proteins. But soy foods may offer benefits even beyond that thanks to isoflavones, compounds that also target cholesterol in the bloodstream. This means soy foods provide a two-pronged approach to lowering cholesterol.
Cold-water fish are a great source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that numerous studies associate with improving heart health. Research suggests that these fatty acids can significantly reduce triglycerides levels. Perhaps more importantly though, they exert a powerful anti-inflammatory effect that helps fight a pro-inflammatory environment—like when your cholesterol is high. Choose omega-3 fish that are lower in mercury such as salmon, canned light tuna, catfish, pollock, sardines and anchovies, and try to get two servings each week.
Leafy greens and cruciferous veggies in general. Salad greens, such as spinach, Swiss chard, and kale, as well as broccoli and cabbage, are full of rich vitamins and minerals. Studies have shown that they contain special immune-boosting compounds. Filling your plate with these nutritious foods may help protect you from unwanted viruses and more. Adding Plant-Based Foods to your diet along with our plant based capsules will help many Auto-Immune Disorders, Try adding a handful of greens to your morning smoothie, or be creative & sneak some raw spinach into a regular brownie recipe along with a dash of healthy spices like Turmeric, Cinnamon & Cardamom.