A lot of people believe that morning jogging is probably one of the healthiest activities for your body. They would get up at 5 am, put on some workout clothes and go on a run around the block, with their eyes barely open. Then, they would come home, take a shower, make some breakfast, get dressed and go to work. Sounds familiar?
The truth is that morning workout has its own set of benefits, but it’s not suited for everyone. Early birds can immensely enjoy such a schedule, mostly because they are the first to wake up and the first to go to sleep. But, for the rest of us, waking up at 5 am for exercise is almost impossible. Even if we somehow manage to hear the alarm and stop ourselves from pressing the snooze button, we won’t enjoy the activity. On the contrary, it will make us even more tired and lazy, so we would forget about the idea in just a few days.
So, how can we take care of our body and health if we are not designed to function this early in the day? The answer is quite simple – working out in the evening! Yes, you might have to skip a party, or two, but after you’ll start experiencing the benefits of working out at night, you will see that it was totally worth it! Forget about your FOMO, and continue reading to find out everything you need to know about exercising in the evening!
Working out in the evening
If you decide to add some evening exercises to your daily schedule, you will definitely have a more relaxed morning. You can sleep at least an hour more, or you can prepare yourself for work calmly and without being in a hurry. You can even take a longer, relaxing showers after which you’ll feel like a completely new person.
This will set the right tone for your entire day. You’ll feel less stressed, and be able to deal with your everyday problems much easier than before. You’ll also be more creative and more focused. And who knows, maybe even finally get the promotion you’ve been working so hard for the past few weeks, or months.
On the other hand, if you have a bad day at work, working out at night could be a real lifesaver. All types of evening workouts are a good outlet to blow off some steam. I’m sure you already know all the psychological benefits of exercising, so I won’t go in any details. But I will remind you that you need continuity if you want to really feel the effects.
Intense workouts however, are usually not preferred even if you enjoy working out in the evening. Think, for example, of the insanity workout – an intense exercise program created by Shaun T and Beachbody, where you go through series of demanding cardio circuits. If you are not well versed in bodyweight fitness, and lack stamina, you are looking forward to a night of serious distress. So think through before scheduling your workout 3 or 4 hours before going to bed.
And last, but not least, evening exercise can help with your sleep quality. Especially if you are suffering from insomnia. It’s true – a recent study found out that people who lifted weights earlier through the evening had a better quality of sleep when compared against people who did the same workout in the morning.
Actually, you don’t need to go to the gym for better sleep. You can try PIYO, a 2 month workout program, perfect for your nighttime routine that you can do from the comfort of your living room.
Running in the evening
Just imagine the next scenario: As the night gets darker, the city goes quieter. People are slowly entering their safe homes, and lock the doors behind them. The streets are empty, the moon is shining high in the night sky, while a cool breeze wakes up all your senses. You scan the area, and start to pick up the pace towards the song of the crickets from the local park. Sounds surreal, right?
This is what you’ll experience if you decide to go on a night jog. You’ll have the entire neighborhood to yourself, and be able to completely enjoy in your favorite activity. In turn, this will bring you better results in shorter time. Running in the evening will also clear your mind and reset your thoughts. Sometimes this can be a rejuvenating therapy, helping us to find a way to better cope with all our daily troubles.
If you decide to start running in the evening, you have to put your safety first. Make yourself more visible with reflectivity fabrics and some kind of night-running gear. You should also wear a headlamp, so cars can see you in time. The headlamp will also help you see holes or bumps on the road in front of you. Also, avoid wearing headphones and if it’s possible, find yourself a partner or a group for company. If this is not an option for you, make sure to take your smartphone and inform a close friend about the route you’ll be running.
Morning workout vs. evening workout
Night workout has a lot of benefits, but is it the right choice for you? It all depends of your fitness goals. That’s why I’m also going to share some of the best reasons why morning workout could be a better choice, even if you are a night owl!
For starters, it will increase your energy. If you desperately need coffee for waking up in the morning, than consider working out as a healthier, more effective alternative. Exercising in the morning will help you wake up your body, and boost your brain power. Especially if you choose some outdoor activity. The fresh air will also fill your lungs with joy!
Morning workouts, however, need to have at least one explosive movement, and be rather short. Think about it – you need to complete them daily or at least few times per week, so the format has to be sustainable.
A morning workout has a better effect on your metabolism than an evening workout. Exercising in the morning helps burn all those annoying, and unwanted calories. If you do it on an empty stomach, your body will use the extra fat as energy during your workout, so you’ll quickly lose weight.
One of the best things about morning workouts is their positive effect on your mood. While you are exercising, your body releases serotonin – the hormone known as the happy chemical, because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness. And you don’t even need to spend hours in the gym to experience this effect. Even a quick morning walk can release serotonin – and you will become a happier and more serene person.
When working out in the evening is not a very good idea
Several reasons, however, exist to disapprove working out in the evening. You might function at a different pace, but make sure to at least consider some of them:
- You are not leveraging your natural hormone cycles
- Endorphin is great, but it is released in order to fight stress. Why create it during the evening in the first place?
- Exercise raises your core temperature through a process called thermoregulation. And it takes 5 to 6 hours for it to get back to normal. Can you sleep? Sure. Is it optimal? Well, I wouldn’t say so, especially if you eat heavy meals late at night, or fight with insomnia.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you have more energy in the mornings or in the evenings? Do you want to improve your mood, boost your metabolism or lose weight? Or maybe you want to blow off some steam and have better fitness results in shorter time? Answer these questions and you’ll know which side to choose in the battle between morning vs evening workouts.
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