Let's face it: Many of us are simply not fans of early morning workouts. Try as we might, it's just hard to find the motivation (and alertness) to get up at the crack of dawn and crank out a meaningful exercise session. Well, the good news is, you don't have to – in fact, a growing body of research is bolstering the argument that working out in the evenings offers just as many benefits – if not more – as exercising during the morning hours. Below are five good reasons why you should consider working out at night.
1. Your mornings will be less hectic.
Working out in the morning means packing both a work bag and gym bag, not to mention the fact that you have to leave a little earlier in order to squeeze in a decent workout before heading to the office. Not only that, but if we're being honest, it's very easy to skip breakfast due to time constraints, which means settling for a quick protein bar or some other relatively unsatisfying snack on the fly. And let's not even talk about how topsy-turvy things can get when one minor element of your morning routine doesn't go as planned! Bottom line: Working out at night can afford you a much more peaceful morning experience.
2. You can work out longer and harder.
According to a study published by the University of North Texas, muscular strength and function actually peak in the evening hours, enabling us to work out up to 20% longer, and with increased intensity. This means that you'll be able to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts without having to spend extra time in the gym.
3. It's a great stress reliever after a hectic day.
Between battling traffic, navigating office politics and grappling with an ever-increasing to-do list, more than likely your average day has plenty of stressors to deal with. Working out can provide you with the perfect outlet for de-stressing after a tough day.
4. You'll get better sleep.
Multiple studies have shown a strong link between evening workouts and better sleep quality. One study in particular published by the National Sleep Foundation found that individuals who lifted weights as part of an evening workout regimen experienced a higher quality of sleep than those who performed the same workout during the morning hours. As you well know, getting a good night's sleep promotes optimal muscle recovery, and it plays a vital role in maintaining proper hormonal balance, which will defend your body against unhealthy cravings that can derail your diet. And while we're at it, let's go ahead and put a popular myth to rest: No, exercising in the evenings will not keep you awake at night. In fact, a study published by the National Institutes of Health found that vigorous late-night exercise doesn't disturb sleep quality at all.
5. The gym is usually less crowded in the evenings.
It's no secret that gyms are far more crowded during the morning hours, which typically means waiting in line to use a particular machine, or having less access to other gym equipment and supplies. By waiting until the evening to work out, you won't have to worry about fighting the crowds, and you'll basically have the run of the house when it comes to choosing your workout equipment. This equals less wasted time, and a more efficient sweat session.
You don't have to be an early riser get the most out of your workouts. As you can see by the points listed above, exercising in the evenings just might be the right move to help you achieve your fitness goals!