In the News: Best Time of Day to Exercise Revealed, Forest Bathing on the Rise, Speech May Show Signs of Mental Decline

Best time of day to exercise revealed. The age-old debate about optimal workout times has always been met with confusion. While many people swear that early morning workouts are the key to success, others cannot fathom waking up earlier than necessary to do any form of exercise. According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, research shows that working out in the evening (HIIT in particular) may be the most beneficial. Scientists have found that strength and flexibility peak in the second half of the day, and that perceived exertion is at its lowest, allowing you to work harder and feel it less. In trying to find an explanation, experts point to the circadian rhythm, since it plays a role in these factors. Find out more about the best time of day to work out here. (CNN)

Forest bathing on the rise.  We’ve all heard about the importance of spending time in nature and breathing in the fresh air but it turns out this activity my have a deeper purpose. Known as “forest bathing”, retreating into nature has been found to not just boost mood but also improve immunity and overall wellbeing. While it may sound like water is involved, forest bathing translates to soaking in your surroundings, no bathing suit required. Unlike hiking or camping, this experience requires simply walking through forests, smelling, touching, listening, and watching the beauty around you. Also known as nature therapy, this practice can greatly reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and serve as a form of medicine. Ready to get outside? Make sure to follow these summer safety tips first. (NPR)

Speech may reveal signs of mental decline. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that the way we speak may reveal insights into our mental health. This speech analysis study, which was the largest of its kind, also showed that certain aspects of language may be affected earlier than other parts of the body, allowing physicians to uncover mental deterioration before it becomes too late. With around 47 million people suffering from dementia worldwide, the prospect of an earlier diagnosis is very promising. Another study found that hearing loss may indicate mental decline as well, which can also play a role in catching conditions like Alzheimer’s at the very onset of the illness. (ABC)