Take Advantage of the Extra Daylight – Become an Evening Exerciser
| 3 min read
Working out in the morning is great if you want to get it out of the way early, but lots of people just don’t have the time before work (or are most definitely not a morning person). That’s where nighttime workouts come in. An evening trip to the gym can be the perfect way to end your day—and here are just a few reasons why:
- Your body will be primed to work out. Researchers have found that muscular function and strength peak in the evenings. That means you’ll be able to exercise for longer and get a more intense workout in if you work out at night.
- You can let off some steam. Tough day? Release your stress and tension through an equally tough workout. You’ll feel a lot better about things after working up a sweat and boosting your endorphin levels. And research says that exercise is associated with boosting creative thinking and problem-solving—just another added perk.
- You’ll make healthier decisions that night. You’re going to be less likely to binge on chips and ice cream after you’ve done something healthy for yourself like going to the gym. Another bonus: If you schedule a yoga class or a session with a trainer after work, you can’t be tempted to join your coworkers for happy hour instead.
- You’ll sleep better. If you’re a night owl, you probably have lots of energy right before bedtime. Exercising at night can help expend some of that energy, which will ultimately help you sleep better throughout the night (and wake up feeling refreshed). Research shows that it’s probably best to work out at least a few hours before hitting the hay, although some people aren’t bothered at all by exercising close to bedtime.
It’s important to prepare yourself ahead of time to exercise at night—that way you won’t be tempted to skip the gym. Here’s how to make sure you stick to your post-work workout plan:
- Plan ahead. Knowing ahead of time exactly what you’re going to do at the gym will make you likelier to go. Still tempted to skip it? Sign up for a class that you have to pay for in advance. And make sure to pack a snack to eat beforehand. If you’re starving and ready for dinner, you won’t have much energy to make it through your workout.
- Stay consistent. Pick a few days during the week that you can go to the gym after work and prioritize those appointments as if they were meetings with your boss. Would you reschedule a meeting with your CEO for being tired? Think of your health and overall well-being as motivation, and working out is what’s getting you there.
- Buddy up. You’ve probably heard this one before, but having a friend by your side makes you more likely to actually go. Ask a fitness-loving friend to meet you for a spin class or go for a run with you after work – mark it down it your planner and keep yourselves accountable.
- Reward yourself. If you’re someone who likes to enjoy popcorn and a movie or a glass of wine at night, turn that treat into your motivation to complete your workout. If you hit your weekly goal, let yourself have it. If not, you’re out of luck.
Be sure to sign up for our #HealthyMe community to get daily tips on fitness, nutrition and more to keep the motivation going all year long. For more blogs on ramping up your fitness routine, check out these posts:
Photo credit: markheybo