Exercise is good for your mitochondria, the energy center of the cells in your body. The effort not only improves the function of existing mitochondria, it can generate new ones. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology investigates which type of exercise is most effective for stimulating mitochondria function and generation.
In separate trials, 8 young adult subjects rode a stationary bike for half an hour at 50% of exercise capacity, did five 4-minute intervals at 75% capacity with 1 minute of active recovery in between or sprinted for four 30-second intervals of all-out effort with 4 ½ minutes of between interval active recovery.
Calories burned and changes in cell activity were measured after each bout of exercise. Researchers found that short duration high-intensity exercise produced results similar to much longer moderate intensity effort. That’s good news for people who have a hard time making time for hitting the gym.