Is two minutes of intense exercise each week enough to keep older adults fit? According to a new study from researchers at Abertay University in Scotland, the answer is yes.
As a leading provider of senior in-home care in New Hampshire, we emphasize the importance of daily exercise and activity for our clients and wanted to share information about this new study. While multiple studies have suggested that high-intensity training (HIT) can produce the same health benefits as traditional workout regimes, the Abertay University study marks the first time that the effect of HIT has been tested on seniors. Researchers found that one minute of HIT performed twice a week increased overall physical fitness and reduced blood pressure too.
Short Bursts of Activity
In the Scottish study, seniors participated in two training sessions per week over a six-week period. Each session consisted of a series of six-second sprints on an exercise bike. The number of sprints was gradually increased from six to ten. In between the intense bursts of activity, participants were allowed to rest until their heart rates dropped below 120 beats per minute.
Seniors who participated in the study not only reported feeling more confident in their strength and mobility but in their ability to engage in physical exercise as well. Proponents of HIT say that the training offers a great alternative for older people who find it challenging to meet current exercise guidelines.
HIT Health Benefits
Other clinical studies involving HIT have found that the training offers multiple health benefits, including lower glucose and insulin levels, improved aerobic capacity and better carbohydrate metabolism. Scientists theorize that bursts of intense exercise help break down glycogen stored in the body’s muscles, which triggers the body to remove more glucose from the blood stream and store it.
Although the Scottish study participants reported that they had not exercised regularly during the 12 previous months, they were all screened carefully before beginning HIT to ensure that they were in good health. Seniors should consult their doctors before starting any high-intensity training program.
If your aging parent or loved one is looking to begin and carry out an exercise regimen, but doesn’t know where to start, contact Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire today. After a careful evaluation of your loved one’s abilities, home environment and care needs, we can suggest an hourly or live-in care plan that includes nutritious meals, daily exercise, socialization and more. Call 603-471-3004 and find out how our highly trained and compassionate New Hampshire caregivers can promote a higher quality of life for your aging parent or loved one.