While the link between regular physical activity and improved brain health is nothing new, combining specific types of exercising can actually go a long way in making your life longer. From exercise physiologist Ben Greenfield, here are two exercise tips to help promote your longevity:
Engage your fast-twitch muscles
The fast-twitch muscles are involved in activities like sprinting, jumping, or strength training. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to engage in speed races and powerlifting. “You can do very short, powerful, quick, explosive exercises with bodyweight only,” Greenfield explains. These exercises are commonly referred to as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routines.
Change up your workouts
According to research, alternating these fast-twitch exercises with slow-twitch ones throughout the week is the best way to support longevity. Think of slow exercises like long-distance jogging, walking, swimming, or lifting light weights. On the HIIT days, Greenfield recommends doing 7- to 10-minute exercises, where you’re moving very quickly and explosively, for 30 seconds on and 15 seconds off. Here are a few HIIT workout routines for extra guidance.
In a nutshell, combining the two types of exercise helps keep the body physically and mentally fit, which can help promote healthy aging and, ultimately, longevity. HIIT programs, promote healthy aging by strengthening cardiorespiratory fitness, while strength training through slow-twitch exercises slows the loss of muscle mass, which naturally occurs in the aging process.
Additional sources: Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care – Which type of exercise keeps you young?