How Late Should I Workout?
- Benefits of Working Out Late
- Risks of Working Out Late
- Tips for Working Out Late
- Best Exercises for Late Workouts
- How to Wind Down After a Late Workout
How late should you workout? It’s a common question with various answers. Here’s what the research says about the best time to hit the gym.
Benefits of Working Out Late
Working out late in the day can be an incredibly effective way to improve physical and mental health. With a few changes to your routine, you can derive some major benefits from exercising late at night. From helping your muscles recover, to improving your sleep quality, there are many advantages to working out late in the day. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits in more detail.
Increased Energy Levels
The benefits of working out late at night include increased energy levels, improved mental clarity, improved hormone balance and better sleep. Working out later in the day provides the body with an extra boost, as your metabolism is revved up from your daily activities. Additionally, working out late at night can help you to manage stress and elevate your mood by giving you an emotional and physical release.
One major benefit of working out late is increased energy levels. Compared to early morning workouts, exercising in the evening creates a more prolonged surge of energy, which can give you the extra push you need throughout the rest of the day or evening. Additionally, exercising after work or right before bed can provide you with a much needed boost to end your day on a positive note.
Working out late at night can also improve mental clarity and alertness. Exercise has been reported to improve focus and concentration while reducing fatigue so it may be especially beneficial for those who are feeling sluggish after a long day at work or school. Endorphins released during exercise also act as natural antidepressants that promote feelings of well-being as well as reduce stress—a small workout may just be what you need for an afternoon pick-me-up!
Lastly, regular exercise is important for maintaining healthy hormone balance which impacts overall health in numerous ways including energy levels and sleep quality, among other things. Studies suggest that testosterone increases in individuals who exercise regularly and inadequate amounts of this hormone can lead to low energy and poor muscle development—both issues are easily avoided simply by making exercise a priority each day!
Improved Sleep Quality
Among the benefits of working out late at night is improved sleep quality. Exercise helps to relax the body and mind, and when done in the evening it can help induce a deep sleep. Working out in the evening releases endorphins that wear off quickly, calming you down and helping you drift off to sleep more easily. Studies have shown that those who exercise late have less difficulty falling asleep than those who do not exercise or exercise earlier in the day. Furthermore, people who exercise at night wake up feeling more refreshed and energetic as opposed to those who wake up early after exercising earlier. This improved quality of sleep helps to enhance cognitive function and increase performance at work or school.
Reduced Stress Levels
It is widely accepted that late in the day workouts can reduce stress levels. Research has shown that regular exercise, regardless of the time of day, can reduce stress hormones and thus increase relaxation levels. Working out in the evening or late night is usually preferred because it allows you to take advantage of the evening hours after work and other responsibilities have been taken care of. It also forces you to adhere to a schedule which helps structure your day and keeps you on track with meeting your fitness goals. Working out late at night also provides much needed “me time” and functions as a mental break from any worries or anxieties during a chaotic day. You may find even greater stress relief spending additional time outdoors or meditating following your workout; taking advantage of the quietness and connectivity with nature during this calming hour can promote even deeper relaxation for soothing sleep when you are done working out.
Risks of Working Out Late
Working out late in the day can come with many risks, even if it fits within your daily schedule. Exercising late can increase your heart rate and body temperature, which could take longer to cool down and cause disrupted sleep. It can also lead to a decrease in performance during the workout due to the muscles being more fatigued and there being less time for muscle recovery. Let’s take a look at the potential risks of working out late in the day.
Working out late at night can increase your chances of over-exerting yourself during a workout session. The body has a natural “inner clock” that controls the timing at which its various functions are performed. This “clock” is known as the Circadian Rhythm and regulates functions such as body temperature, blood pressure, alertness and energy levels. Working out late can disrupt the body’s normal circadian rhythms, resulting in decreased performance and heightened fatigue due to lack of rest. It also increases your risk for physical injury if you attempt to push yourself too far or too fast late in the day when you are more likely to be tired or less coordinated. For these reasons, if you choose to schedule workouts in the evening it is important to listen to your body and take breaks as needed throughout the session in order to avoid over-exertion.
Increase in Appetite
Exercising late in the evening can lead to an increase in appetite and calorie consumption. This is due to a drop in body temperature and an increase in hunger hormones, such as ghrelin. When your workout is at night, it can trigger a physiological response that not only increases hunger, but also makes it difficult for you to resist cravings for high-calorie and unhealthy foods. For example, if you finish working out at 8 p.m., you may be tempted to indulge in a snack like potato chips or ice cream — something that would negatively impact your health goals. Eating after an intense workout can also disrupt your sleep patterns, which can have adverse effects on energy levels and hormone balance the following day. To ensure that your workouts are effective and do not cause long-term unwanted consequences, it is best to avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
Risk of Injury
Exercising late at night presents a variety of risks, especially when it comes to potential injuries. Late-night workouts can cause higher levels of fatigue due to a disruption in normal sleeping patterns and disruption in circadian rhythms. When people are tired, they are more prone to making mistakes while performing exercises or activities that require concentration, such as weightlifting. This increases the risk of falling and pulling muscles or ligaments as a result; this type of injury is especially common with sports and aerobic activities. Additionally, when a person’s regular sleep schedule has been disrupted, it can take longer for their body to repair and heal damage caused by over exertion.
In order to reduce the risk of injury during late-night exercise sessions, it is important to warm up properly before engaging in any strenuous activity. A warm up will help loosen the muscles and increase blood flow throughout the body; this prepares the body for proper form when exercising and reduces fatigue levels significantly. It is also important that one start out with light exercises or activities first before gradually increasing intensity over time. Proper form should be practiced throughout an exercise routine; if something feels uncoordinated or unnatural then it’s best to stop or adjust how the movement is being performed instead of attempting additional reps that could further strain muscles or joints. Finally, rest days should be taken throughout the week in order to allow those same muscles plenty of time to recover after intense sessions; this should help lessen any intense soreness felt afterwards as well as reducing potential risks associated with exercising late at night.
Tips for Working Out Late
Working out late can be beneficial for those who may have a busy schedule or who work late hours. It can also be great for those who want to target their muscles in a different way. But, if you do decide to work out late, there are some important tips that you should know. In this section, we’ll discuss how to make the most of your late night workouts.
It is important to prepare your body for a workout, especially if you are hitting the gym late in the day. A warm-up allows your muscles and joints to transition from resting to working states, therefore reducing your risk of injury. In fact, an effective warm-up can even enhance performance.
When warming up, it may be helpful to start at a lower intensity and gradually increase intensity as the warm-up progresses. Additionally, dynamic movements such as lunges or jogging on the spot are typically better than static stretching during a pre-workout warm-up due to its ability to improve coordination and reduce injury risk
When working out late in the day, it is also beneficial to foam roll and/or stretch after your workout session as active recovery options before concluding. This will help with mobilizing tissue that could potentially become tight over time when not regularly worked on or trained. Spending 10 minutes properly stretching after a workout session will not only help improve flexibility benefits over time but can also aid in cooling down post-workout.
Eat a Light Meal Before Working Out
When selecting a light meal before working out late at night, it is important to choose one that will provide your body with the energy and sustenance you need to complete your workout. Eating too hard a meal close to the workout can easily lead to cramps and stomach problems. Good options for pre-workout meals are lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and vegetables. If you’re pressed for time, grab snacks such as an apple with peanut butter, yogurt with nuts and fruit, or a protein smoothie. Planning ahead will help ensure that you are able to make the most of your after-hours fitness session without sacrificing nutrition.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
If you are working out late, it is important to remember not to push yourself too hard. It may be tempting to try to fit in a longer workout session after a long day of work, but if you are feeling exhausted or overtired it is best not to push your body too hard. When you are overly tired your body will perform at less than its peak efficiency, which can lead to poor results or even injuring yourself. Additionally, if you find that your workouts tend to feel more difficult when you exercise later in the day, take care not to overwork yourself by increasing intensity or duration of sessions unnecessarily. Instead, focus on maintaining good form and staying mindful during your workout. This can help ensure that you reach the end of the session safely while still achieving measurable gains and benefits from each session.
Best Exercises for Late Workouts
Working out late at night can be beneficial if you have a busy schedule, but it is important to choose the right exercises to stay healthy and energized. Late workouts are best when they focus on exercises that are low-impact, such as yoga, Pilates, and light weight training. This section will discuss the best exercises for late workouts and how to incorporate them into your routine.
Yoga is a great form of exercise for late workouts because it combines physical exercise with mindfulness, which allows practitioners to gain strength and flexibility. Yoga increases your heart rate and loosens stiff muscles while helping you relax. It is also a low-impact workout that puts less strain on your joints than high-impact activities such as running or cycling. There are various forms of yoga, but one that is especially effective for late workouts is Yin Yoga which focuses on deep breathing, gentle stretching, and meditation. Yin Yoga helps relieve stress and provides an overall calming effect. Additionally, it can be easily adapted to time constraints or accommodate injury limitations because of its slower pace and focus on relaxation and poses that don’t require much movement or exertion. Therefore, late night yoga sessions can help you relax, stretch out your muscles and stay in shape all at once!
Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on stretching and strengthening postural muscles that help in improving posture, flexibility, balance and coordination. It uses a combination of strength, flexibility, balance and control to create the desired effect. By engaging these four components in the practice, it helps to improve neuromuscular coordination while also strengthening the postural muscles. Pilates also has the benefit of being low-impact which makes it well-suited for late workouts. In addition, Pilates has been known to help alleviate lower back pain. The many benefits of Pilates make it an ideal type of exercise for late workouts due to its ability to target specific areas while still being low impact and beneficial for overall health.
Swimming is an excellent choice for those looking to do a late-night workout, as it is relatively low-impact on the body and can provide an effective full-body workout. However, while official pools may close earlier in the day, it’s possible to maintain a safe and effective swimming routine by using at-home or nearby options such as open water swimming or using residential pool installations for late evening workouts. Swimming offers great cardiovascular benefits and can help improve lung function, muscle tone and core strength without straining joints like other high impact exercises might. It also gives you a full body workout as every stroke works multiple muscle groups simultaneously. When swimming later at night, it’s important to exercise caution, ensure you have completed a warm up to prepare your body and follow recommendations from your local authorities or resort regarding areas that are secured for night swimming.
How to Wind Down After a Late Workout
Working out late in the evening can be beneficial for muscle growth, as well as for your overall health. However, it’s important to understand how to wind down properly after a late workout in order to give your body ample time to recover and replenish. In this article, we will discuss the best ways to wind down after a late workout in order to ensure that you get the most out of your exercise.
Take a Hot Bath
Taking a hot bath after a late workout can be an effective way to help relax your body and mind. A hot shower can loosen tightened muscles and knots, flush away lactic acid buildup, and soothe aches and pains. It can also reduce stress levels and speed up your post-workout recovery.
When you’re done exercising, aim for a bath that’s warmer than your usual shower temperature — anywhere from 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for promoting circulation, providing deep muscle relaxation, and relieving tension. You should also keep your bath short — 15 minutes is usually long enough to reap the benefits of the heat. To help improve the effects of the bath, you can add aromatherapy scents like lavender or chamomile which emit calming properties to aid in relaxation even further.
The heat from a hot bath promotes sweat production, which in turn helps rid your body of waste materials it doesn’t need while illuminating your skin with a healthy glow. This is especially beneficial after intense exercise as it helps speed up muscle recovery regardless of what time you ended up working out that day.
Listen to Relaxing Music
Listening to calming music is one of the quickest and most effective ways to relax after a late workout. To achieve the desired effect, choose songs that are slow tempo and composed in major keys with recognizable structures. Major keys promote a more positive, cheerful mood compared to minor keys, which tend to convey a feeling of melancholy or sadness. Sitting or lying in a quiet area where you can focus on the music can be extremely beneficial for both mental and physical relaxation. Listening with headphones or earbuds can create an immersive sound experience that accentuates the relaxing sound of instrumental music.
The act of listening to calming tunes has its own set of benefits. It has been found to reduce physiological arousal caused by exercise as well as mitigate nervousness and mild anxiety due to external stressors like work or family responsibilities. Listening to soothing music increases serotonin levels throughout the body which directly correlates with better sleep, reduced anxiety levels and improved moods throughout the day.
Journal or Meditate
After a late night workout, engaging in an activity that can help your body and mind relax can be beneficial. Journaling or meditating are two great ways to wind down and keep your stress levels low.
When it comes to journaling, take some time to express your thoughts and experiences from your workout. Writing can help organize, clarify and reaffirm thought processes. Getting all of those thoughts out of your head can help provide a sense of clarity.
Meditation helps find inner peace and balance. It allows for self-reflection which can allow one to dive deep into the purpose behind their activities and exercises. Instead of letting stress keep building up within you, mediation will allow for much more mindful focus on the why behind you working out instead of just the activity itself. Plus it allows you to sit quietly — which is a great way to just relax after a particularly strenuous or emotionally demanding workout session.
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