Bursts of exercises boost health of older adults
Short intervals of high-intensity exercise may improve the overall health of older people, according to new research in Scotland.
Scientists at Abertay University examined the effects of exercise on 12 retired adults over the course of six weeks. The participants went to the lab twice a week, during which they were asked to exercise at high-intensity on an exercise bike in six-second intervals. The exercise was a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which is a type of exercise that keeps heart rate elevated and is known to burn more fat in less time than exercise done at a sustained level of intensity.
The researchers found that after the study was over, the participants’ blood pressure had decreased by about 9 percent. They also reported having an improved ability to carry out daily activities, such as walking a dog or getting out of a chair.
The study’s findings, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, suggest that elderly people may benefit more from short and strenuous exercise programs than low intensity exercise. The researchers noted, however, that because a high heart rate could trigger heart attack and stroke, older people should consult with their doctor first.