There have been many studies done on the impact that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has on overall fitness, wellbeing and weight loss goals. And now a new study has found that high-intensity interval training improves memory function in older adults.
The study, undertaken by McMaster University in Canada, was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.
Earlier this year a paper published by the University of Queensland in Australia looked at how interval training could offset cognitive decline by boosting cerebral blood flow. The new research from McMaster University appears to back up this thinking.
Remarkably, the study found that the HIIT group improved their high-interference memory performance by up to 30 per cent while on average the other two groups had no improvement.
“It’s never too late to get the brain health benefits of being physically active, but if you are starting late and want to see results fast, our research suggests you may need to increase the intensity of your exercise,” said Dr Jennifer Heisz, lead author and associate director at McMaster Physical Centre of Excellence.
“This work will help to inform the public on exercise prescriptions for brain health so they know exactly what types of exercises boost memory and keep dementia at bay.”
WHAT IS HIIT?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is simply alternating between higher intensity bursts of exercise with time to rest in between, with the bursts generally being less than two minutes. Steady state training involves exercising more consistently, for a longer period of time.