Is Working Out Good Before Bed?
- Benefits of Working Out Before Bed
- What Type of Workouts Are Best?
- Tips for Working Out Before Bed
- Potential Downsides to Working Out Before Bed
You’ve probably heard that working out in the morning is the best way to start your day.
But what if you’re not a morning person? Or what if you have early morning commitments that make working out in the morning impossible?
If that’s the case, don’t worry – working out at night can be just as effective. In fact, there are some benefits to working out before bed that you might not even be aware of.
Benefits of Working Out Before Bed
Working out before bed can be a great way to boost your endorphin levels, leading to a better night’s sleep. It can also help to reduce cortisol levels, a hormone linked to stress, and give you energy to tackle your day. Additionally, it has been shown to reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks late at night. Let’s dive in further to the benefits of working out before bed.
Improved Sleep Quality
Many people find that working out before bed helps improve their overall sleep quality. Exercise can actually reduce stress, which is a known cause of poor sleep. It can also help you sleep faster, stay asleep longer and wake up feeling more rested.
In addition to reducing stress and improving the quality of your sleep, working out before bed can lead to a few other key benefits. Research suggests that exercise in the evening may also reduce inflammation and lower your body temperature—both important factors that contribute to improved sleep quality. Exercise also has a positive effect on your hormones. Working out before bed can help decrease blood sugar levels, cortisol levels and increase serotonin and endorphins; all of which promote relaxation and help reduce feelings of anxiety or depression that can impair sleep quality.
Beyond the physiological changes associated with working out, getting fit before bed can also have psychological benefits as well. Going for a quick run or an evening workout might be just what your mind needs to decompress from the day’s activities before bieng able rest well for the night ahead!
Improved Stress Levels
Exercising before bed can help reduce the overall stress levels in your body. Exercise helps to increase endorphins, which are hormones that create a positive feeling in your body and act as natural painkillers. After a workout, this improved sense of wellbeing often results in better sleep later on. By winding down with a workout before bed, you can relax and help your body to enter a deeper sleep faster. Additionally, regular exercise helps to improve heart health, reduce depression symptoms and decrease fatigue throughout the day. This additional energy can be channeled towards activities that need more focus and concentration during the day instead of being taken up by feeling tired and fatigued from poor sleep.
Working out before bed can be a great way to help increase your metabolism at the end of the day. Exercise revs up your metabolism and helps you burn more calories faster, so that you can not only get an effective workout in, but also accelerate your calorie burning capabilities into the night and morning. This is especially beneficial for those who want to lose weight or maintain weight loss because exercise elevates metabolism for several hours after exercise regardless of when the workout takes place. Not only does working out before bedtime boost the thermic effect of food (calories burned while digesting), it also increases resting metabolic rate which helps with long term fat burning goals.
What Type of Workouts Are Best?
Although some say that working out before bed can disrupt your sleep, studies have shown that certain kinds of exercising can help you relax, get to sleep faster and achieve more restful sleep. So depending on the type of exercise you choose, you can reap the benefits of working out right before bed. What type of workouts are best for before bed? Let’s take a closer look.
Low-intensity exercise is characterized by physical activity that is performed at a moderate level of intensity. It can also be described as exercise that uses light energy and allows you to remain in a relaxed state while being active. Examples of low-intensity exercise include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, stretching, and yoga. Low-intensity workouts are often recommended for people who lead sedentary lifestyles or who want to stay in shape but can’t handle higher intensities of exercise due to mobility issues or chronic health issues.
Low-intensity exercises can help people improve their cardiovascular health and strength without requiring them to push too hard or overexert themselves. This type of workout is ideal for those who need gentle methods of staying fit with minimal levels of stress on the body. It can also help with improved sleep quality which is especially beneficial for those struggling with sleep deprivation or insomnia. Performing low-intensity exercises about an hour before bedtime may help initiate sleep faster and support deeper levels of restful healing sleep throughout the night.
Stretching is a vital part of any workout plan. It helps keep your muscles flexible, improves your range of motion, and can help prevent injury. In addition, stretching can help you improve circulation, and increase joint health. Stretching should be included as part of both warm-ups and cool-downs when exercising.
Before bed is an ideal time to fit in a few stretches. The calming effects of holding stretches in the evening may be just what you need to promote better sleep that night. Take at least 5 minutes prior to lights out to focus solely on stretching. This will aid muscle relaxation and ward off stiffness associated with poor posture and lack of movement during the day. Make sure not to perform high intensity exercises just prior since this will make it harder for your body to relax when trying to drift off into sleep. Some great pre-bedtime stretches include reclined spinal twists with the spine remaining relaxed, child’s pose, cobra pose, forward fold with bent knees (seated or standing), thighs and calves stretch (laying on floor with legs up against a wall), cat – cow stretch series (on hands & knees), caterpillar/seated forward fold/half split combination which are all excellent for lengthening muscles that are often tight in our legs/hips from sitting too much during the day.
Yoga is a great way to relax while improving flexibility, strength and balance. It is suited for people of all ages because it can be tailored to individual levels. There are numerous styles of yoga which emphasize different aspects, so it’s important to find one that suits your needs. In most sessions you’ll start with warm-up exercises then move onto postures (asanas) and finally relaxation. During each asana you should focus on your breath, hold each posture as long as you’re comfortable with and only perform the variations recommended by your instructor. Having a good flexibility level is key factor in maximizing your yoga session before bedtime as stretches will provide much more relief than going for something too difficult for your current ability level. Finish up with some calming abdominal breathing exercises or a full body scan exercise before lying in the peaceful state of savasana or corpse pose which will help relax the muscles at a deeper level if practiced right before sleep.
Tips for Working Out Before Bed
Working out before bed can have a number of benefits for both physical and mental health. In addition to improving your sleep quality and helping with weight loss, it can help reduce stress and boost overall wellbeing. However, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind before working out late at night, such as the type of exercise, duration of the workout, and when to eat. In this article, we’ll explore these factors and tips for making the most of your pre-bed workout.
Keep it Short
When it comes to working out before bed, the key is to keep your workout short and sweet so you give your body enough time to cool down and relax. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends avoiding vigorous activity for at least two hours before bedtime. Exercise increases your heart rate and body temperature, both of which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
It’s best to have a pre-bedtime exercise routine that lasts no more than 30 minutes and emphasizes gentle stretching, low-impact activities or light strength training. This allows you time to cool down without putting too much strain on your body or taxing your energy stores. To further promote a feeling of relaxation, try deep breathing exercises while working out or doing yoga poses that focus on downward-facing postures that help bring calmness and improve the length of sleep quality. Avoid stimulating activities such as running or HIIT workouts early in the evening since these can take longer for the body to metabolize before you can feel relaxed enough for sleep.
Avoid High Intensity Exercise
Working out before bed isn’t a good idea for everyone, but if you do decide to do so, it’s important to be aware of the type of exercise you are doing and how late into the evening it is. High intensity exercise can cause an increase in your heart rate, sweating, and stress hormones that can interfere with your ability to relax and fall asleep. If you choose to work out before bed, your best bet is to avoid high intensity activities such as running or weightlifting in the hours leading up to bedtime. Instead, try engaging in low-level activities like stretching or yoga that don’t require too much energy or exertion. This will help you loosen up your muscles and prepare your body for restful sleep.
Staying hydrated is important, especially when exercising. Water helps to manage the core temperature of your body and helps it regulate so you can keep your workout intensity at a comfortable level, allowing for more efficient workouts. It’s best to drink an electrolyte-rich sports beverage when engaging in intense exercise right before bed, as this can help replenish lost electrolytes and prevent dehydration that can lead to increased levels of fatigue in the morning. Additionally, if you don’t feel like drinking much before bedtime or while working out, you could also snack on fruits that are high in water content as they will still provide essential hydration without filling up too much.
Potential Downsides to Working Out Before Bed
Working out before bed can be beneficial for some people, as it can help to improve sleep quality and reduce stress levels. However, there are also some potential downsides to working out before bed that should be taken into consideration. This section will discuss the potential risks and disadvantages of exercising before bed, so that you can make an informed decision on whether it is right for you.
Difficulty Falling Asleep
Working out before bed may make it more difficult to fall asleep. The increased temperatures and stimulation that result from a workout before bed will raise your body temperature. This can cause the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, making it harder to wind down and eventually fall asleep.
In theory, getting in some physical activity earlier in the day could help you adjust your Circadian Rhythm, making it easier for you to wind down as night approaches. However, hitting the gym or going for a run later than usual could have an unwelcome effect on your sleep if adrenaline acts like a stimulant instead of helping you relax. If that’s the case, consider sticking to your routines and scheduling form of exercise at least 4-5 hours before bedtime.
Another potential downside of exercising before bed is that intense physical activity can trigger excitement or anxiety, making it harder to fall asleep even after settling down after exercise. Getting into a relaxed routine with some kind of light stretching before bed may help ease into slumber rather than being energized by cardio activities just prior to sleep time.
Increased Heart Rate
Working out before bed may contribute to an increased heart rate when trying to fall asleep. The body is still in a raised state of metabolism and might not be prepared for restful sleep. This can lead to difficulty in reaching the deeper stages of sleep, or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is important for normal bodily functions and overall health. Exercising late at night may also cause feelings of physical exhaustion. Ongoing fatigue can sap motivation, which can affect the quality of your workouts, as well as your other activities throughout the day.
Interrupted Sleep Cycles
Research has shown that working out before bed can disrupt the natural Sleep-Wake Cycle, which plays a significant role in regulating your body’s internal clock. Exercise in general raises the body’s core temperature and requires a significant amount of energy; both of these can take up to 6 hours to return to their natural levels. Working out close to bedtime also increases adrenaline and endorphins, both of which inhibit sleep, so it is often recommended that those who exercise at night do so earlier and give their bodies ample time to recover before going to sleep.
In addition, modern studies have linked interrupted sleep cycles and poor nighttime sleeping habits with health risks such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression. If your workouts are consistently causing you difficulty falling asleep or sleeping throughout the night, you may want to shift them earlier in the day or limit them closer to bedtime.
In conclusion, working out before bed has its benefits and drawbacks. There is evidence that it might help improve sleep quality in some cases and provide other health benefits such as increased energy and mood. However, there are also risks associated with exercising too close to bedtime, such as increasing the likelihood of insomnia or interfering with hormonal balance. Therefore, if you’re considering a pre-bed workout routine, it is important to be aware of both the potential for positive benefits as well as any potential risks. Ultimately, whether or not pre-bed exercise works for you will depend on your individual needs, your fitness goals and preferences. If you do decide to work out before bedtime, make sure to observe proper sleep hygiene and relaxation techniques so that you can get the best rest possible after your workout session.
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