Benefits of working out at night
For some of us, the mere idea of working out in the evening fills us with fatigue, but there are some very good reasons why a late-night workout might be a good idea.
Here are 11 reasons to consider becoming a night owl when it comes to exercise:
1. You’ll be avoiding unhealthy alternatives. If you commit to exercising in the evening, you won’t be in the pub after work or sitting on the sofa watching TV.
2. One study suggests that blood pressure is higher in the night, which should mean that exercise performed during this period will burn more calories and improve both physical performance and stamina.
3. Working out is a great stress reliever. If you have a busy and stressful job, then nothing beats working out hard to relieve the body of all of the built-up stress hormones.
4. A study at the University of Chicago set up five groups of men and asked each to exercise on a step machine either in the morning, afternoon, evening or night, with a fifth group undertaking no exercise at all. Samples from their blood taken after the study period suggested that people in the groups training in the evening or at night attained a higher level of fitness than the other three groups.
5. You’ll be more alert. Working out in the morning when we have just risen can mean we are sluggish, and less likely to keep good form and focus. This can make us susceptible to injury.
6. You’ll be fuelled for your workout. With a morning session, you have just enough time to get a pre-workout snack before hitting the exercise, but in the evening you’ve had a chance to prepare your body well in advance for a demanding session.
7. It’s easier to find someone to train with. You’re more likely to find a friend to train with in the evenings than at 5am in the morning.
8. It’s possibly the easiest time to free up your schedule. Most routines involve getting ready first thing in the morning and then heading for work, with weekends being packed with family, work and a social life. The evening is typically a period when you have some time for yourself, so why not use it to squeeze in a workout?
9. Working out promotes a good night’s sleep, but be sure that you leave enough time between finishing your workout and bedtime. You should include a good stretching session to relax your muscles and prepare them for sleep.
10. Some people’s energy levels are higher in the evening, so they will perform better with a later workout.
11. If you supplement your home workouts by heading to a gym or leisure centre, they tend to be less busy later at night.
If you think you are a night owl and would enjoy working out later in the evening, be sure to still have a post-workout snack, but avoid anything that will keep you awake feeling bloated and full. It should be light and protein rich to help with muscle growth.