High Intensity Interval Training has been acutely researched in recent years and the results are overwhelmingly positive. HIIT has led the yearly survey of worldwide fitness movements in 2018 by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). It remains in the top five through 2021.
HIIT is so beneficial to great health and a long life. As we age our systems begin to slow and things we need to stay and look young begin to abandon us. One of the mutineers is Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH is what helps to keep us feeling and looking young.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced by a pea-sized gland called the pituitary - located at the base of the brain. HGH powers growth throughout childhood and continues on to maintain tissues and organs throughout most of our lifespan. Sometime after age 40 the pituitary gland slowly begins to reduce the amount of HGH it produces. Couple this with an unhealthy lifestyle and the HGH levels drop drastically. This will result in an older looking appearance and dis-ease within the body.
Not to worry! HIIT has been shown to increase Human Growth Hormone!
Here’s why HGH is important.
Repair- Human body functions that require protein synthesis will weaken if HGH is not present in the body. Repair of vital organs and systems is crucial to living a long happy life. Our organs begin to fail often due to ill repair. Many older adults who exercise with HIIT repeatedly say that they notice a significant difference in the texture and tone of their skin and hair.
Burn Fat Build Muscle. HGH fuels protein synthesis and increases fat oxidation to deliver the energy needed for tissue growth. HGH is also known to antagonize the action of insulin. “HGH may act directly on tissues, but much of its effect is mediated by stimulation of the liver and other tissues to produce and release insulin-like growth factors, primarily insulin-like growth factor 1.”[i]
HIIT provides other benefits along with an increase in HGH.
HIIT keeps you young by changing your brain, mentally and physically. Ashleigh Smith, PhD, a senior research fellow at the School of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia, said, “We found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) resulted in the greatest benefits for Neuroplasticity (as opposed to high- or low-intensity continuous training).”[ii]
The miracle known as Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt by transmogrifying its functional and physical properties. Think of your brain as a mass of clay ready to be formed. When this magic materializes, awesome things begin to happen. Its like turning the clock back. The years seem to strip away. You feel younger, you look younger.
HIIT can reverse the complications of prediabetes.
Having a high body fat percentage can lead to diabetes which will lead to heart disease and death. Most individuals with a high body fat percentage are prediabetic. Prediabetes is the result of excess body fat, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, etc. Prediabetes is represented by elevated blood glucose levels but are too low to meet the criteria for type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that over 300 million adults in the world have prediabetes, and that figure is projected to rise exponentially. Prediabetes impairs mitochondrial function. This is the leading contributors to insulin resistance, “Mitochondria are specialized structures unique to the cells of animals, plants and fungi. They serve as batteries, powering various functions of the cell and the organism as a whole. The main function of mitochondria is to metabolize or break down carbohydrates and fatty acids in order to generate energy”.[iii]
To encapsulate it all I voice, adding a HIIT protocol to your workout schedule will increase your HGH levels leading to you feeling and looking younger. Also, the more you perform HIIT the less likely you will be prediabetic and your body will be able to burn fat as fuel more efficiently.
Something to keep in mind when tracking your progress. Your body will begin to burn fat efficiently before you see significant results. There’s a short lag between activation and visual evidence. “Enhanced fat oxidation and fitness occur before clinically significant weight loss”.[iv] Just stay consistent even when things aren’t moving as fast as you like. You will see results! Stay strong!
Now go oxidize some lipids!!
[i] https://www.britannica.com/science/growth-hormone [ii] https://www.healthline.com/health-news/switching-up-your-workout-routines-is-good-for-your-body-and-brain#Bursts-of-intensity-help-build-your-muscles-and-mind [iii] https://www.livescience.com/50679-mitochondria. [iv] https://jssm.org/jssm-18-636.xml%3EFulltext