A Berry College professor is conducting research on the potential benefits of High Intensity Interval Training in older adults and people with multiple sclerosis. HIIT exercise sessions require participants to cycle between higher and lower intensities every minute for a total of 10 cycles and 20 minutes.
“This research is incredibly significant to public health as the population ages and the number of individuals with neurological disease rises. It could produce a shift in rehabilitation programs for those impacted by disease-related cognitive declines,” said Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Lizzie Hubbard, who is also director of the Exercise Psychophysiology Lab.
Hubbard and her undergraduate researchers are examining the potential benefit of HIIT using internal ratings of intensity in mitigating any normal age-related effects on cognitive function. In the HIIT-Aging study, participants are assessed with several standard tests to evaluate their cognitive function, exercise performance, and overall enjoyment of the HIIT exercise.
Hubbard is hopeful that HIIT exercise could be a safe and effective prescription for older adults with cognitive impairment, like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Hubbard is also researching the potential benefit of adaptive HIIT in persons with MS. In the HIIT-MS project, which is funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Hubbard is examining the preliminary benefits of 12 weeks of HIIT using an adaptive piece of equipment on fitness, walking performance, and cognition in persons with MS.
The Exercise Psychophysiology Lab is currently seeking participants who have MS for the HIIT-MS study.