Are evening workouts excellent or bad for you? Find out the pros and cons of evening workouts and how to optimize your evening exercise routine.
Are evening workouts excellent or bad for your health and fitness? Some say that evening workouts can increase your metabolism, help you sleep better, and lower stress levels.
On the other hand, others say that they can mess with your circadian rhythm, make you gain weight, and slow your recovery. Who’s right and who’s wrong?
In this post, we’ll look at the pros and cons of evening workouts and share some tips on how you can make the most out of your evening workouts.
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What are some excellent evening workout options?
You can do many different exercises at night, depending on what you want to achieve and what you’re looking for. Here are a few examples:
It can help you tone up your muscles and boost your metabolism and bone density. It can be done with weights, bands, or even your body weight.
You can burn calories, improve your heart health, and increase stamina. You can run, cycle, swim, or jump rope.
Yoga is a type of exercise that can help you relax and tone your muscles. It can also help you become more flexible and reduce stress levels. There are a few different types of yoga that you can do, like hatha (a form of yoga), vinyasa (a kind of yoga), and Bikram.
Is working out in the evening wrong for you?
Working out in the evening doesn’t have to be bad for you if you do it correctly. It can give you more energy, more motivation, more time, more flexibility, help you perform better, burn calories, get better sleep, and recover better.
But it can also have some downsides like sleep issues, food cravings, distractions, obstacles, or not considering other aspects of your health and well-being. It’s all about finding a balance that fits you and your lifestyle.
Pros and cons of evening workouts
Do you work out in the evening? Are you a night owl? Are you a busy professional? If so, you might wonder about the pros and cons of evening workouts.
In this article, we’ll break it down and advise you on how to make the most of your night-time workouts.
Pros of Evening Workouts
Evening workouts can help you burn more calories
According to a study from CU Boulder, working out in the evening can boost your RMR for up to 4 to 6 hours after your workout, meaning you will burn more calories in your sleep.
Evening workouts can improve your sleep quality
It could be because you feel less stressed, anxious, or depressed. But it all depends on what kind of workout you’re doing and how long you’ve been doing it.
Evening workouts can reduce stress
Exercising in the evening can help you relax and release all the stress and anger you’ve been feeling all day.
Working out can also help your body produce endorphins and serotonin, hormones that help balance your mood and feelings.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about traffic, gyms full of people, or other stressors you might have during the day.
Cons of Evening Workouts
Evening workouts can disrupt your circadian rhythm
Your body’s internal clock tells your body when to sleep and when to wake up. It’s affected by things like light, temperature, and how much exercise you do.
Working out in the evening can mess with your body’s internal clock by delaying the release of melatonin, which tells your body to get ready for sleep.
It makes it harder to fall asleep and affects your sleep quality and how long it lasts.
Evening workouts can increase your appetite
If you work out in the middle of the night, your hunger hormones can kick in and make you want more food.
It is especially true for foods high in carbs and fat, which can cause your blood sugar to get too high and your insulin to get too low.
If you eat or snack too much later in the night, you might end up eating more than you burn off during your workout, making it harder to lose weight.
Evening workouts can impair your recovery
Recovery is a vital part of any workout plan since it helps your body heal and adjust to the strain of exercise.
It’s also affected by your body’s natural sleep cycle since most of your body’s repair is done during the deep stages of sleep.
Working out too close to bedtime can give your body too little time to recover, leading to injury, inflammation and overtraining.
How to Optimize Your Evening Workouts?
If you prefer or have to work out in the evening, here are some tips on how to optimize your routine:
Choose low-impact and moderate-intensity exercises
- Avoid high-intensity and high-impact exercises.
- These can increase your heart rate, increase your blood pressure, and raise your body temperature.
- They can also activate your nervous system and leave you feeling energized and alert to sleep.
- Instead, focus on low- and moderate-impact exercises that help to relax your muscles and soothe your mind, like yoga, pilates, swimming, biking, or walking.
Finish your workout at least three hours before bedtime
- Allow yourself a few minutes to cool down and relax after a workout.
- It will help your body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, and hormone levels return to normal and help you fall asleep.
- You can also stretch or meditate to reduce muscle soreness and mental fatigue.
Eat a light and balanced meal after your workout
Eating a balanced meal that’s low in carbs and high in protein and healthy fats will help your body make up for lost glycogen, repair muscle, and keep your hunger in check.
After a workout, it’s essential to be mindful of how much you eat and don’t – too much of either can negatively impact your sleep and weight.
How can I sleep better after working out at night?
Some tips to help you sleep better after working out in the evening are:
- Don’t work out before you’re ready to go to bed, especially if you’re doing a high-intensity or intense workout at night.
- Try to get your workout done at least three hours before you hit the hay, and go for a low-impact or calming workout like yoga, pilates, or stretching.
- Your meals and snacks should be tailored to your workout plan, and you should eat as you feel hungry and satisfied.
- Don’t skip meals or overindulge before or after a workout, and make sure you’re eating foods that will keep your body going and your taste buds happy.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during your workout.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks before bed.
- Drink enough water to meet your fluid and electrolyte needs, but not too much that you’ll have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Stay on top of your sleep routine and ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
- Try to get up and go to bed at the same time each day, and don’t take naps, drink alcohol, smoke, or look at screens before you go to bed.
- Keep your bedroom as dark, as quiet as possible, and as cool as possible, and make sure it’s as comfortable and cosy as possible.
- You can use pillows or blankets to help you relax or try some aromatherapy to help you feel more relaxed.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How late is too late to work out?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to “When is too late to work out?” It all depends on what you like, your goals, your fit, and your health. But as a general rule, it’s best to avoid working out too close to bedtime or doing intense or motivating workouts at night. Try to finish your workout before you hit the hay for 3 hours, and go for low-impact, calming exercises like yoga, Pilates, or stretching.
What are the best exercises to do at night?
Doing some light exercise at night can help you relax and get a better night’s sleep. It all depends on what you’re looking for, your goals, how fit you are, and your health. But suppose you’re looking for something low-impact and relaxing. In that case, you can do a few things, like yoga, Pilates, stretching, going for a walk, biking, swimming, or even dancing.
What’s the best thing to eat before and after a workout at night?
It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve, how fit you are, and your health. But here’s a general rule: don’t skip meals or overeat before or after a workout. Instead, go for healthy, balanced snacks that energize your body and taste buds. For example, you could have a snack like a piece of fruit, a yoghurt, a granola bar, or a smoothie. You could go for an egg, cheese, or cracker if you want something to snack on after a workout. You could also have a hummus, veggie, or protein shake.
Is it better to work out in the morning or in the evening?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It comes down to your personal preferences, schedule, goals, and health. Some people are better off working out in the morning, while others prefer working out in the evening. The best time for you is the one that works best for you and allows you to stay consistent.
How long do I have to wait before I work out?
The answer to this question depends on the type and amount of food you eat before your workout. You’ll generally want to wait at least 2 hours after a big meal, 1 hour after a bit of dinner, and 30 minutes for a snack. Don’t eat high-fat, high-fibre, or high-sugar foods before your workout because they can cause digestive issues or discomfort during your workout.
There are pros and cons to working out in the evening. It all depends on your lifestyle, your goals, and what you like to do.
If you choose to work out at night, you must be aware of the risks and do what you can to avoid them. It’s also important to be flexible and listen to your body.
The most important thing to remember is to stay consistent and have fun with your workouts.