Healthcare Trends for Healthy Aging

Is Interval Training the Fountain of Youth?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an exercise technique done by alternating short bursts of aerobic effort with periods of slow-paced exercise. Mayo Clinic researchers say this type of exercise is not just for the young and healthy. In fact, they found that HIIT has even bigger benefits for older adults.

During a HIIT workout, you alternate between exerting high and low levels of effort. Mayo Clinic researchers studied the effects of HIIT on people over age 65. They discovered that some age-related deterioration of muscle cells was reversed. “HIIT seemed to change a cell’s DNA in a way that boosted the muscle’s ability to produce energy. It also triggered the growth of new muscle, helping counteract inevitable muscle loss that comes with aging. These changes were more dramatic in the over- 65 exercisers compared with a group of people under age 30 who did the same workouts. It’s never too late to start and see big gains,” state the researchers.

Interval training doesn’t require special training or equipment. One study looked at walkers who added higher-intensity intervals to their walking program by alternating between three minutes of fast walking and three minutes of slow walking for 30 minutes or more four times a week. Others who walked twice as long but at a moderate, consistent pace made minimal gains in fitness. Another study looked at fast and slow pedaling on an exercise bike (20 and 40 seconds, respectively). Other good news: after nearly two years participants in the walking study kept up with interval walking workouts... “An impressive stick-with-it rate for any workout program.” Participants said the program made working out more fun.

Many experts recommend just one or two interval workouts per week, combined with light or moderate exercise in between because your body needs rest between hard workouts. “There are plenty of benefits to taking a leisurely walk with a friend, too. It’s about balance.”

How to Get More Greens into Your Life

Nutrition coach Jeff Taraday offers seven tips for adding leafy green vegetables to your diet. Leafy greens are rich in fiber, protein and micronutrients. Some leafy greens, like kale, watercress, collards, arugula and bok choy, are also cruciferous vegetables—powerful cancer fighters.

  1. Blending and Juicing: blend your greens in a smoothie
  2. Add greens— chopped spinach, kale or collards—to an egg or tofu scramble towards the end of the cooking process.
  3. Add chopped greens to your stew, chili and soup.
  4. Blend spinach into fresh pesto, tomato-based or any savory sauce.
  5. Add greens into boiling pasta water three minutes before the noodles are done
  6. Try collard green leaves in place of a buritto wrap. Trim the hard stems off the bottoms and blanch in boiling water for one minute, then pat dry.
  7. Add chopped spinach or other greens to your burger mix (whether your burger is made of beans, beef or turkey).

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