It's a no-brainer that regular exercise is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle. The benefits of how we exercise are a different matter. Different routines emphasize certain aspects of wellness. For those interested in maximizing longevity, High-Intensity Interval Training shows immense promise, not only for physical health but for neurological health.
Interval Training and Neuroplasticity
Recent research indicates that High-Intensity Interval Training has a substantial impact on neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to create new neurological connections. This helps both the body and mind stay fit and adaptive.
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The ideal exercise regimen will combine different forms of exercise, but High-Intensity Interval Training provides well-rounded results. Recent research released by the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport analyzed the effects of various exercise strategies on neuroplasticity, with a particular emphasis on both duration and type.
All participants engaged in aerobic exercise on either treadmill or stationary bike. Researchers measured different combinations of duration and intensity concerning neuroplasticity. They found that continuous moderate training or High-Intensity Interval Training provided the most beneficial results.
Why is Neuroplasticity Important?
Neuroplasticity is a critical aspect of long-term wellness because it directly correlates with our ability to learn and adapt to day-to-day life. When we get older, our ability to adapt neurologically declines, making it all the more critical to engage in activities that preserve neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is associated not only with memory and learning, but it also helps us recover more quickly and thoroughly from stroke and other neurological injuries.
While strength training is excellent for controlling energy levels, burning fat, and building tone, aerobic exercise provides greater neurological benefits.
Cortisol's Effect on the Body
It is hypothesized that High-Intensity Interval Training is superior to extended high-intensity exercise because cortisol begins to counteract these benefits when over training. The body releases cortisol in response to physical and psychological stress. Interval training maximizes results while mitigating physical stress.
While this research clearly demonstrates the benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training, it does not answer the question of "why?" The current body of research suggests that interval training helps the body to more effectively modulate cortisol levels, keeping them below a point that hinders neuroplasticity. By giving the body periodic relief from high-intensity, the body can work to bring cortisol levels back to normal.
Other Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training
- Burn More Calories Over Less Time to Lose Weight Faster
- Increase Telomere Length to Mitigate Premature Aging
- Stimulate Human Growth Hormone Production
- Boost Testosterone for Strength and Fitness
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