High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Longevity
Dec 18 , 2020

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Longevity

At the end of chromosomes resides one of the major contributors to aging and a key for the promise of life extension. Shortened Telomeres are well known to precipitate the aging process. Conversely, lengthy telomeres are associated with longer and healthier lives. 

Fortunately, there are several known interventions that can lengthen telomeres. Diet and exercise have long been touted for their health benefits. Here, conventional wisdom is correct. Two methods of lengthening telomeres include intermittent fasting and high intensity interval training (HIIT).

In this article we will focus on HIIT and the superb results from this form of exercise. Studies have employed previously non-active participants to determine if this form of exercise had any role in telomere health.

Telomere length is one way of gauging the aging process. However, there are many others. BioViva Science offers a variety of home tests for evaluating different aspects of the aging process. 

One six month study consisted of three 45 minute training sessions per week with several groups utilizing different training methods. This study included a HIIT group alongside groups that participated in aerobic endurance training and resistance training. In this study HIIT and AET showed remarkable effects on telomerase activity.

Indeed, both cardiovascular exercise interventions resulted in improved telomere health, but HIIT is shown to induce more significant effects on fitness and metabolism in healthy people. A shorter study, which was only 8 weeks long, discovered that HIIT training in non-athletic men resulted in a pronounced increase in both the length of telomeres (P = 0.001) and their activity (P = 0.001) when compared to the control group. 

Of course, HIIT is excellent for telomeres. However, it is not for everyone. With the emergence of gene therapy, the prospects of drastically increasing telomere lengths and human healthspan has arrived. Gene therapies, like the ones being pioneered by Integrated Health Systems, provide the promise of a lengthy and vigorous life regardless of the hand fate has dealt them. Furthermore, for individuals for whom intensive exercise may not be advised, such as cardiovascular patients or the elderly, gene therapy may be a better option. 

Works Cited and Suggested Reading

Christian M Werner, Anne Hecksteden, Arne Morsch, Joachim Zundler, Melissa Wegmann, Jürgen Kratzsch, Joachim Thiery, Mathias Hohl, Jörg Thomas Bittenbring, Frank Neumann, Michael Böhm, Tim Meyer, Ulrich Laufs, Differential effects of endurance, interval, and resistance training on telomerase activity and telomere length in a randomized, controlled study, European Heart Journal, Volume 40, Issue 1, 01 January 2019, Pages 34–46, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy585

Weston KS, Wisloff U, Coombes JS. High-intensity interval training in patients with lifestyle-induced cardiometabolic disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med 2014;48:1227–1234.

Noorimofrad, Saeedreza & Ebrahim, Khosrow. (2018). The effect of high intensity interval training on telomere length and telomerase activity in non-athlete young men. Journal of Basic Research in Medical Sciences. 5. 1-7. 10.29252/jbrms.5.2.1.


Authored by John Ryan


John Ryan is an independent writer and an avid enthusiast of biotechnology. He received his University education at Northern Michigan University, as a history major, where he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society for academic excellence. While in Michigan, he also trained as an athlete at the United States Olympic Education Center, where he achieved the status of a multiple-time University All-American in Greco-Roman wrestling. He has authored several plays and a collection of poetry. Some of his major areas of interests includes: Health, Finance, Literature, and Religious Studies.

John is available to contact via email at: arete.aphthiton@gmail.com

Adam Alonzi

Adam Alonzi is a writer, biotechnologist, documentary maker, futurist, inventor, programmer, and author two novels. He is an analyst for the Millennium Project, and Head of Social Media and Content Creation for BioViva Sciences. Listen to his podcasts here. Read his blog here.