Discover if the time you exercise affects weight loss, what you can do to offset dementia risk, and how CO2 might be clouding your thinking. Plus, there’s fresh evidence that good music is key to a good workout.
The ideal work out time for weight loss
It seems that whether you sweat it out before sunrise or exercise in the evening it makes no difference. Recent research shows that if weight management is your motivator then working out at a consistent time—morning, noon or night—is the secret to success. Experts believe that those who exercise at inconsistent times are more likely to focus on fitting exercise into gaps in their day, and therefore may reduce exercise length and intensity to squeeze it in. The study showed a strong link between moderate-to-vigorous exercise at the same time of day and the amount of time spent exercising. This could be put down to the psychology of “automaticity”—where the “mindless repetition” of an activity turns it into habit. Learn more about how exercising at consistent times assists weight loss.
What it takes to cut the risk of dementia
Every three minutes one person in the UK is diagnosed with dementia. While it’s typically linked to genetics, new research now shows a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the likelihood of dementia. The eight year-long study involved 196,383 people from the age of 64 being DNA tested to assess their genetic risk of developing the disease. When participants who were born with high-risk genes and led an unhealthy lifestyle were assessed there were 18 cases of dementia per 1000 people. When high-risk people maintained a healthy lifestyle the cases of dementia went down to 11 per 1000 people. A healthy lifestyle was defined as eating a balanced diet, moderate exercise for 2.5 hours a week, not smoking, and drinking no more than a pint of beer a day. Discover more about how the genetic risk of dementia can be offset by healthy living.
Carbon dioxide could be clouding your thinking
If you think that spending too much time in a stuffy office or classroom is clouding your thinking, you could be right! Studies show that long periods spent in poorly-ventilated spaces can affect cognition and cause kidney and bone issues too. Researchers pin it on excessive carbon dioxide exposure. It was commonly thought that it takes exposure to a very high concentration of CO2 (at least 5,000 parts per million) to cause health issues, but a growing body of research suggests CO2 levels as low as 1000 ppm can be detrimental. Crowded classrooms and poorly-ventilated bedrooms have been found to have levels of CO2, parts per million (ppm) as high as 1000 ppm, as have air-conditioned trains and planes and some office spaces. One study showed office workers’ cognitive scores were 50 percent lower if they were exposed to 1400 ppm of CO2 compared to 550 ppm during a working day. It’s speculated that rising indoor CO2 levels have been exacerbated by people spending more time indoors, increased use of air-conditioning, and increased urbanization. Learn more about the human health risks of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
More evidence that good music and a good workout go hand-in-hand
Fresh research backs up what we’ve long known, upbeat music can make a rigorous workout more enjoyable—and more effective. This study involved 24 insufficiently active people being put through their paces doing the short HIIT session known as the One Minute Workout. Participants completed the workout under three different conditions—with no audio, listening to a podcast, and with music that was identified by an independent panel as being highly motivational. Not only did participants report greater enjoyment when working out to music, they also exhibited elevated heart rates and peak power when the music played. Learn more about how incredibly powerful music can be.
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