The study found that in just six weeks the physical fitness
of older people enhanced significantly and blood pressure became low.
Partakers in the study were put through an exercise regime
involving two parts of high-intensity training a week, with six-second sprints
on an exercise bike.
That was the first time that the effect of high-intensity
training (HIT) on the health of pensioners had been tested, said scientists at Abertay
They strongly believe the regime could provide an
alternative to the current exercise guidelines for older people, which many find
difficult to follow.
Scientists said that the study - which involves doing just
one minute of exercise twice a week - not only improved the participants'
physical health and ability to do things, but also their perceptions of their
own ability to engage in physical activity
"They enjoyed it, were delighted with the effects it
had on their health and, on top of that, felt they could fit it into their
lives, which is something they aren't able to do with current exercise
recommendations," said Dr John Babraj of the university.
He also said that HIT is an achievable alternative that
could make a real difference to people's health and their quality of life.
"When it comes to the sprints, you don't have to go at
the speed of Usain Bolt. As long as you are putting in your maximal effort -
whatever speed that happens to be - it will improve your health," he added.
However, he noted that people should consult their doctor
before starting any high-intensity training in case there are any underlying
health-issues that need to be identified.