Going to the gym after work can be a tall order. With the sofa or bed calling your name, temptations of watching that movie are often much stronger than the desire to hit the road for an evening jog. All obvious reasons to dread working out at night aside, it can actually be beneficial.
Whether you love going to the gym or prefer to run, benefits such as improved brain function do not just stop because it is after 5pm. So, if you are struggling to exercise in the morning, consider these benefits of exercising at night.
James Aworit, a gym instructor, says exercising at night is relaxing because it is done when you have finished all your tiresome and often draining daily chores and your mind is more settled.
“As any day progresses, its natural daily stressors will play a role in your overall mood. As stress and anxiety build up throughout the day, it is likely such feelings will eventually boil over. Whether you have had a tough day at the office or the children have been challenging you at home, exercise is an excellent way to combat the negative side effects of daily stress,” he says.
He adds that when you exercise at night, you go to bed feeling relaxed and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for a new day.
“When one exercises at night, they decide how long they should exercise because they have all the time to themselves,” says Aworit.
He adds that exercising at night enables your brain to rejuvenate and get ready for the next day’s work.
Calm night and morning
Kate Akello, a human resource officer, says she barely has time for herself apart from the evening hours so she made a decision to work out at night. “When you work out at night, you burn most calories that would cause you obesity because most people go to bed immediately after having supper but working out helps you burn the calories before bed time,” says Akello.
More to that, she says it helps one have a calm night because after exercising, you will be exhausted and the bath or shower will help you sleep through the night.
Men’s Health, an online portal, says it depends on your particular problem, at least according to some research. “If you have trouble falling asleep, morning workouts may be your best bet. But if you have difficulty staying asleep, evening exercise may be the way to go. If you regularly wake up over the course of the night, a late-in-the-day sweat session may be just what you need,” it states.
You have enough time
Emmanuel Isiko, a trainer at Sassy and Classy Workout Centre, says people who work out at night tend to work out for longer hours because they are free and there is no call of duty.
“Even when one is at the gym, the gym instructor will have more time for them because they do not have many clients to pay attention to at that time,” says Isiko. He further says at night, people work out for longer hours because they tend to have many creative ideas they want to try out that they would not be able to try out in the presence of other people.
Whatever workout slot you prefer; morning, afternoon, evening, the key to better sleep is consistency. If the thought of waking up before the sun rises to exercise before work stresses you out, do not force it. Working out before bed might be the thing for you.
Ultimately, do what works best for your schedule, personality, and mindset. The fewer potential excuses you can give yourself for skipping workouts, the better.
Dr Eric Tumwesigye, a general physician at Queens Health Centre, says exercising at night helps when it comes to digestion, especially for those who have their supper late.
“When one exercises at night, they are able to burn the excess fat that would cause obesity,” he says. However, he cautions those intending to exercise at night not to do it immediately after eating because the digestion will not have taken place so you may vomit the food.