Do 4 minutes of HIIT and Live Longer

Exploring Intensity

Do 4 minutes of HIIT and Live Longer

At Cardio High we like to focus on exercising for brief moments at a high intensity level. We measure the intensity using heart rate monitors. It turns out that short bursts of intense exercise increase lifespan. This is a difficult thing to prove in a lab, however a group of Norwegian scientists set out to use the town of Trondheim in Norway as their lab.

These scientists enrolled 1,500 people in Trondheim over the age of 70 in their experiment to study the correlation of exercise and longevity. Most of the participants were not obese, though some had heart disease and others had cancer. After testing the aerobic fitness levels of all 1,500 people, the participants were placed into three different groups.

The control group was asked to walk or move for 30 minutes each day. A second group exercised at a moderate pace for 50 minutes twice each week, and the final group did HIIT workouts twice each week. The High intensity sessions involved 16 minutes of intense exercise; the group cycled or jogged at a “strenuous” pace for 4 minutes followed by 4 minutes of rest – repeated 4 times. 

The study concluded that all the participants lived longer than the average Norgwegian, but the HIIT group were 3% less likely to die than the moderate exercise group and 2% less likely than the control group. They also had a better healthspan, meaning they were in better condition and able to get around more easily than the control group. 

At Cardio High we believe people should focus on short term benefits, like having more energy for the current present moment, and to use that as a primary motivator to exercise. But it’s nice to know there are long-term benefits to the HIIT training. 

To read more details on the study, see this story in the NYT.

– Mark G