While it may seem like a good idea to wake up early and hit the gym, not everyone agrees or benefits from this way of working out. Indeed, there’s a growing number of nocturnal gym rats who defy the early-rising-fitness experts, instead preferring to get their sweat on late at night.
But what about all that research that suggests morning exercise is best? Maybe you’ve heard that late-night sweat sessions can lead to insomnia, or that people who work out in the evenings are less likely to stick to a workout routine.
To them, we say… nonsense! Remember, great fitness is not about when you work out, but about finding an exercise routine and schedule that works for you.
For those of you that can’t stand the idea of waking up at the crack of dawn and who have more energy in the evenings (you know who you are), this is for you.
1. No Early Morning Alarms
Waking up at the crack of dawn can be dreadful, and for some of us, mustering up the energy to wake up early enough to make it to the gym before work just isn’t in the cards. There’s growing evidence to suggest that getting a good night’s sleep is more important than sacrificing said sleep for exercise.
2. You Don’t Have To Fight The Crowds
Avoiding the gym at peak hours can make all the world of difference between a great workout and an awful one — especially if your gym happens to be busy. Most people work out immediately before work in morning (at 7 am or so) or right after work between 5 to 7 pm. The beauty of working out at night? You skip the rush! That means more studio space, more room to move and plenty of peace and quiet. Ahhh. Feels like you’re a VIP at a private gym, doesn’t it?
3. You Can Work Out As Long As You Want
Mornings at the gym are constrained by time, not just for yourself (Do I have to leave for work soon? How long will it take me to shower and commute?), but also for everybody else at the gym, too. There might be people waiting for a treadmill, or waiting for a machine or waiting for weights. All that waiting around sure puts a damper on your gym flow. At night, you can run for as long as you want, use equipment as long as you want, and take your sweet, sweet time without worrying about a thing.
4. You’ll Have More Endurance
For those people who aren’t so energetic in the morning, it can be especially tough to get into the groove of a workout. Night owls tend to have more energy later on in the day, which means they’ll have more effective and efficient workouts. There’s also some evidence to suggest that muscle function and strength is at its height in the evening.
5. Your Workouts Will Be More Social
If you’ve ever been to a gym at night, you might have noticed that everyone is little bit looser and little bit friendlier. Morning folk tend to A-types who are always in a hurry, and A.M. fitness classes are decidedly less jovial. At night, gym-goers are more relaxed, and many of them will be willing and eager to have a conversation with you. If you’re a social butterfly, this is the best time of the day to meet like-minded nightowls and make some fitness friends.
6. You’ll Experience The Freedom Of Evening Runs
All those social night owls will be happy to help you with any questions you have, and they will be glad to spot you while you’re lifting weights. Also, the personal trainers working at the gym won’t be as busy, so they’ll have more time to help you.
7. It’s A Great Way To Unwind From A Tough Day
Working can be stressful. At the end of the day, it’s nice to vent your frustration by exercising. It is a healthy outlet for your stress, and venting will allow you to sleep easier, without worries.
8. You’ll Have More Relaxing Mornings
Without having to rush off to the gym in the morning, you’ll have lots of time to relax, make a cup of coffee, cook yourself a solid breakfast and enjoy your morning routine. No more frantically rushing out the door, no more gym showers. A slow, easy morning can go a long way toward having a good day.
9. You’ll Sleep Better
Going to the gym in the evening lets you use up all your excess energy from the day, so you’re sure to have a deep, restful night of sleep. Plus, you’ll have an awesome feeling of accomplishment, you’ll be drifting into dreamland with positive vibes.
10. You’ll Have A Healthier Nightlife
You won’t be kicking back a few beers and eating greasy food at the pub every night if you’re busy at the gym. Sign your friends up for an evening yoga class together or start a nighttime running group, and have fun while you get fit.