High-intensity aerobic exercise may help reverse ageing processes in adults, researchers, including those of Indian-origin have found out.
Researchers from Mayo Clinic in the US compared high-intensity interval training, resistance training and combined training.
All training types improved lean body mass and insulin sensitivity, but only high-intensity and combined training improved aerobic capacity and mitochondrial function for skeletal muscle.
Decline in mitochondrial content and function are common in older adults.
High-intensity intervals also improved muscle protein content that not only enhanced energetic functions, but also caused muscle enlargement, especially in older adults.
Exercise training significantly enhanced the cellular machinery responsible for making new proteins. That contributes to protein synthesis, thus reversing a major adverse effect of ageing, researchers said.
However, adding resistance training is important to achieve significant muscle strength, they said.
“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,” said K Sreekumaran Nair, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and senior researcher on the study.
He said the high-intensity training reversed some manifestations of ageing in the body’s protein function, adding increasing muscle strength requires resistance training a couple of days a week.
The study may help develop targeted therapies and exercise recommendations for individuals at various ages.
Researchers, including Surendra Dasari and Manjunatha Shankarappa from Mayo Clinic, tracked metabolic and molecular changes in a group of young and older adults over 12 weeks, gathering data 72 hours after individuals in randomised groups completed each type of exercise.