Many experts suggest that high-intensity interval training is an effective protocol for improving body composition. New research suggests HIIT can also positively impact brain function.
The small study was to assess the effects of training intervention combining high-intensity interval training on anthropometric data, exercise tolerance, cognitive performance and cerebral oxygenation during exercise in overweight adults.
Researchers recruited six adults, who completed a 4-month training program consisting of two HIIT sessions on an ergocycle and two resistance training sessions per week. By the end of the study, all the usual markers of change, such as improvements in maximal power, VO2max and maximal heart rate were present. Weight, body mass index, waist circumference and fat mass had decreased across the board. Scientists also noticed improvements in executive function and memory.
In addition to improvements in exercise tolerance, a program combining HIIT and resistance training could improve executive functions in overweight adults. Executive function refers to a set of mental skills that regulate, control and manage other cognitive processes. These results were associated with changes in cerebral oxygenation measured using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, suggesting that variations in deoxyhemoglobin are much more related to exercise tolerance than oxyhemoglobin.
The data was presented in the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Toronto and published in the Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.
Resource: IDEA Fitness