High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which is repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied recovery times is one of my favorite ways to exercise because it is especially beneficial for those of us over 50 and you get an excellent workout in less time.
Skeletal muscle, the muscles that we control voluntarily like our biceps or quads, make up 40% of our body and is actually our largest organ system. Skeletal muscle is considered by many health experts to be the organ of longevity. Many people may see that they are overweight, which I agree is not a good thing, but even more dangerous, they usually are under-muscled. Obesity is a symptom. People who have healthy skeletal muscle have greater survivability and metabolic health.
There are two factors that will help us maintain healthy skeletal muscle as we age which will help prevent frailty and reduce the risk of developing diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Those factors are eating enough high quality protein and building that muscle through exercise and activity.
This research found HIIT boosts the amount of proteins in skeletal muscle. By altering these muscles’ proteins and regulating their activity they found that HIIT exercise increased the productions of proteins used in building mitochondria, the energy center of our cells.
Their analyses showed an increase in the production of proteins used to build mitochondria, which produce energy in cells, and in proteins related to muscle contractions. The team also identified increased acetylation of mitochondrial proteins (altering the function and properties of proteins) and enzymes that are involved in the production of cellular energy. Additionally, they observed changes in the amount of proteins that reduce the skeletal muscle’s calcium sensitivity, which is essential for muscle contractions. You can exercise longer without fatigue or cramping. The changes caused by the exercise are thought to contribute to boosting metabolism.
So the combination of exercise and activity, particularly HIIT, combined with adequate protein intake can improve the amount and quality of skeletal muscle, which is now known to be important for healthy, longevity and aging.
Do you prioritize eating adequate quality protein as well as exercising regularly?
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