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Try High-Intensity Interval Training. You Might Like It.

Supervised lab sessions are not a good reflection of real-life exercise, however. So, as a final step in the study, the researchers asked the volunteers to go home and work out on their own for a month, keeping exercise logs, then return to the lab to talk at length with the researchers again.

This month of do-it-yourself workouts proved to be revealing. Almost everyone remained active, with most completing frequent, moderate exercise sessions, like the 45-minute bike rides at the lab. But many also threaded some sort of interval training into their weekly workouts, although few of these sessions replicated the structured intervals from the lab. Instead, people tended to sprint up and down stairs or grunted through some quick burpees and other body weight exercises.

Most interesting, during their subsequent, prolonged interviews with the researchers, the volunteers who interval trained on their own said they felt more engaged and motivated during those workouts than in the longer, continuous-intensity sessions, even when the intervals were physically draining.

The upshot of the study data would seem to be that many of us might want to consider H.I.I.T., if we have not already, says Matthew Stork, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, who led the new study. We might surprise ourselves by liking the workouts.

But, he points out, some volunteers continued to prefer the familiar, less-intense exercise, and almost everyone completed more of those sessions than of intervals.

“What the data really show is that there is no one-size-fits-all way to work out,” Dr. Stork says. The best exercise will be the one each of us ultimately relishes most, he says. It may require some experimentation, though, for us to settle on our particular, preferred workouts.

Of course, this study involved healthy young adults and followed them for a month. Whether people who are older or have health concerns will respond similarly to intervals and whether anyone will stick to their chosen workouts for more than four weeks remain uncertain. Also, people who have not exercised in some time should generally consult a physician before tackling a new exercise routine.

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High-intensity exercise has no effect on mortality rate in older populations, study suggests

High-intensity exercise does not appear to add to risk of mortality among older adults, a new study has found.

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The research, which was published in The BMJ medical journal on Wednesday, found that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and MICT (moderate-intensity continuous training) for those aged 70-77 showed no increase in the risk of mortality compared to recommended daily activity.

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”This study suggests that combined MICT and HIIT has no effect on all-cause mortality compared with recommended physical activity levels,” the study authors from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Norway, Newsgram reported.

Participants were splits into a control group, HIIT group and MICT group.

Participants were splits into a control group, HIIT group and MICT group.
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The research followed a group of 1,567 men and women – 790 women and 777 men – in Norway over the course of five years.

The participants were put into a control group of 780 that followed Norwegian guidelines for physical activity, which state 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week, MICT group of 387 and a HIIT group of 400. The HIIT group did two weekly high-intensity workout sessions, while the MICT did two moderate-intensity 50 minute workout sessions a week.

At the end of the five year study, the mortality rate for the combined HIIT and MICT group was 4.5%, nearly half the expected outcome of 10%, which is based on the 2% yearly mortality rate for people aged 70-75 according to Norway’s statistics. This supports the researchers expectations from “observational studies [that] have shown that older adults who are physically active have a higher health related quality of life than those who are less physically active,” the report read.

The mortality rate for the two groups compared to the control group, which was 4.7%, suggested no large difference in mortality rate among the exercise styles.

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Though researchers noted before the study 87.5% of participants reported “overall good health,” thus suggesting a possible selection bias that could have influenced results.

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