Are Afternoon Workouts Good For You?

Before you hit the gym, you may want to consider the time of day. Are afternoon workouts good for you?


Studies have found that for some people, working out in the afternoon may be beneficial for their health. Afternoon workouts can help improve not just a person’s physical fitness but also their mental health and energy levels. In this article, we will discuss what makes afternoon workouts beneficial and helpful, along with other considerations to make before engaging in an afternoon workout routine.

By providing insight into the potential advantages of the afternoon workout, you may find yourself feeling more motivated to get up and move your body on those afternoons that don’t seem so inviting! We will also take a closer look at how exercise helps us beyond physical health, along with tips on how to make exercise enjoyable while getting the most benefit from it.

Benefits of Afternoon Workouts

Afternoon workouts are becoming increasingly popular among people with busy work and school schedules. Working out in the afternoon can provide a great boost of energy to help you get through the rest of your day without feeling tired. It can also help keep your metabolism running throughout the day, so you can burn more calories. Additionally, afternoon workouts provide an opportunity to unwind and relax after a long day of work. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of afternoons workouts.

Improved Sleep Quality

One of the key benefits associated with doing afternoon workouts is improved sleep quality. Exercise in the afternoon can facilitate increased energy levels during the day and allow you to wind down more easily when it’s time to rest, leading to a better night’s sleep. This can be especially beneficial in cases of insomnia, where an afternoon workout is recommended to help reduce anxiety and restlessness which may be making it difficult for you to fall asleep at night.

Besides sleeping better during the night, regular exercise also results in increased alertness and concentration during waking hours as well. This can help improve productivity when it comes to work or relationships. Exercise helps reduce stress hormones that tend to accumulate throughout the day and make it hard for our bodies to stay relaxed when it’s time for bed. In addition, exercising in the afternoon has been linked with improved mental health due to its ability to raise endorphin levels, reducing depression and anxiety symptoms as we enter into evening hours.

Increased Productivity

In addition to physical and emotional benefits, performing moderate levels of exercise in the afternoon can help boost productivity and creativity for the rest of the day. Emerging evidence suggests that physical activity helps improve focus, clarity and energy levels. For individuals who need a mental edge during their workday, a noon-time workout may be just what is needed to stay on track.

One study found that afternoon workout increased cognitive performance, enabling students to complete puzzles more quickly and accurately than those who only participated in light exercise or no activity at all. Other studies have also shown an increase in productivity among participants who exercised during their working hours as compared to people who did not have an active break in the middle of their day.

Working out during lunchtime or just after lunch offers another benefit — it’s an opportunity to separate one’s work from personal time. Having a set schedule makes it easier for individuals to switch gears and enjoy some much-needed “me-time,” without guilt or anxiety about unfinished tasks at work. Afternoon workouts can also provide social benefits like connecting with colleagues over a relaxed break or catching up with friends who share similar fitness goals.

Improved Mental Clarity

Afternoon workouts may benefit your mental clarity, allowing you to focus and be more productive in the late afternoon and evening. A research study on the effects of exercise conducted by Dr. John Ratey of Harvard Medical School concluded that exercise bolsters our cognitive abilities, such as improved concentration, creative problem solving and better memory retention. Furthermore, working out as little as three times a week can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Afternoon exercise may help you break through any afternoon sluggishness you experience or ward off afternoon fatigue by providing a stimulating brain boost necessary to powerthrough hours of work. After all, the majority of us become most productive in the latter half of the day. Exercise can be the very thing that helps us reach peak performance not only later in the day but longer into our busy lives.

Potential Drawbacks of Afternoon Workouts

Although there are some advantages of working out in the afternoon, there can also be some potential drawbacks. Working out at this time of day can cause a disruption in your sleep schedule, as the adrenaline and endorphins released during your workout can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep later. Working out too close to bedtime can also leave you feeling energized and make it difficult to fall asleep. This section will discuss the potential drawbacks of afternoon workouts.

Risk of Injury

Although it’s generally beneficial to get physical activity throughout the day, there is some evidence that suggests that there are potential drawbacks to working out in the afternoon. Exercise in the afternoon may increase your risk of injury. This is because the body is already fatigued from the day’s activities, making it easier to overdo it and push too hard during an afternoon workout. Lack of proper hydration and mental fatigue can also contribute to increased risk of injury.

It is important to give your body ample time to rest after a workout and recovery time in order for your muscles and joints to repair themselves for further activity. When you exercise late in the day, your body does not have as much necessary time for rest, which increases your chances of getting injured from overexertion. If you’re feeling tired or done for the day after work, consider taking a few days off from training or doing light stretching instead.

Low Energy Levels

Afternoon workouts can be beneficial in some cases, but there are potential drawbacks to consider. One of the most common is that you may experience low energy levels due to a decrease in natural body energy as the day wears on. This can lead to fatigue and make it difficult to power through an effective workout.

Also, certain activities involve higher levels of concentration such as cycling and yoga, which may be hard to focus on when you are feeling tired or lethargic later in the day. In these cases, it’s best to plan your afternoon workout at a time when you have the most energy during your daily peak hours.

If possible, try participating in activities that involve lower levels of intensity such as jogging or walking to reduce the risk of fatigue or overtraining. Overall, take note of how your body responds after an afternoon workout and adjust accordingly if needed.

Increased Stress Levels

Though afternoon workouts may have some benefits, like reduced body weight and increased energy, it can also lead to certain drawbacks, including potentially higher levels of stress. Working out in the afternoon can cause the body to produce a hormone called cortisol, which is associated with stress. High concentrations of cortisol are released when our bodies respond to stress. Additionally, studies suggest that working out in the afternoon after sitting all day may increase post-exercise soreness due to increased stiffness in our muscles and joints. Furthermore, if we push ourselves too hard during our workouts after being sedentary all day, there could be an excessive strain on our bodies which could put us at greater risk of injury. Finally, worked-up energy levels associated with various forms of exercise can lead to restlessness or even make it harder to relax and go right asleep when it’s time for rest.

Tips for Afternoon Workouts

Afternoon workouts can be just as beneficial for your fitness goals as any other time. In fact, exercising in the afternoon may even help improve your energy levels and make you more productive throughout the day. To reap the maximum benefits of afternoon workouts, it’s important to plan your routine in advance and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Let’s take a closer look at how to do that.

Stay Hydrated

The importance of hydration cannot be stressed enough when it comes to afternoon workouts. When working out in the afternoon, it is recommended to consume a glass of water about 30 minutes before start to ensure that your body is adequately prepared for the workout. Since you are more likely to sweat more during afternoon workouts, staying hydrated is vital for optimal performance. If you feel thirsty during your workout, take small breaks every 5 minutes and rehydrate with water or an electrolyte solution of your choice. Additionally, after completing an afternoon workout, it is essential that you replenish fluids by drinking enough water or other hydrating beverages to avoid dehydration.

Eat a Healthy Snack

Eating a healthy snack before heading to the gym is an important part of any successful afternoon workout routine. Your goal is to eat a snack that will provide enough energy for your workout, but not so much that you become too full or sluggish. To do this, it’s important to keep your snack light and balanced with carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. A few good options may include fresh fruit or vegetables with nut butter, yogurt topped with nuts or seeds, soft-boiled eggs on whole grain toast, or a protein shake made with low-fat milk and almond butter. Eating the right pre-workout snack can help set you up for success during your afternoon workout.

Take Breaks

Taking short breaks during your afternoon workout can help you stay focused and motivated. Taking a couple of minutes between sets or exercises is beneficial as it gives your body a chance to recover and helps you stay energized throughout the day. Breaks don’t have to take long, but they can make all the difference in sustaining focus and intensity. Setting timers during breaks also helps keep workouts on track and keeps you on pace as you move along to different exercises. Additionally, taking breaks allows for cooler temperatures and better air circulation which can optimize the workout environment for better performance.


In conclusion, the answer to whether afternoon workouts are good for you or not depends largely on your own individual preferences and lifestyle. If you’re someone who prefers to get their exercise out of the way in the morning, there’s no need to change that routine. But for those who prefer working out later in the day, the evidence suggests that afternoon workouts can be just as beneficial, if not more so. Setting an appropriate schedule based on your work and sleep habits can help improve your performance and provide a more enjoyable workout experience overall.

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