Any exercise is beneficial no matter what time of the day you exercise. Exercising in the morning is popular because many people like to get it done with first thing so they don’t have to worry about squeezing it in later. However, some people just are not morning people and do not get the most out exercising in the morning.
If that is you, don’t worry: there are benefits from exercising at night. Here is a closer look at some of the surprising benefits of night exercise.
Better muscle strength
A 2013 study analyzed the differences in muscle performance between morning exercise and evening exercise in young men. The researchers found that exercise tests in the evening had a significantly higher time to exhaustion and anaerobic capacity in the evening compared to the morning.
These results suggest that exercising at night may mean you actually have better muscle strength compared to exercising in the morning. The greater anaerobic capacity seen in this study means you may actually be able to stay at a higher intensity longer than when you exercise in the morning. This may be important if you are doing any speed intervals for your exercise certain days.
Along with better muscle strength, exercising at night may mean you just have more over all energy than earlier times in the day. Working out first thing in the morning works great for some people, but if you still feel half asleep during your workout in the morning, you are probably not getting the most out of your exercise.
No matter what time of day, after you’re done exercising you usually feel more energized. However, if you start your workout with a higher energy level, like at night, you may be doing yourself a favor for a better workout.
Fewer people at the gym
If your exercise routine consists of using a gym, you know how hard it can be to access the equipment you want when the gym is packed. Usual peak times for gyms include mornings, lunch hour and right after work. Exercising at off times, like at night, can mean you have greater access to the equipment you want.
Some gyms have a guideline to only be on cardio equipment for 30 minutes when other people are waiting. If you go at night, you are much more likely to be able to stay on any exercise equipment without any competition which means you may get a better workout.
May help some people sleep better
A common reason for not exercising at night is that it may impair your ability to fall asleep. While this is true for some people, exercising at night may actually help some people fall asleep. Aerobic exercise may help you sleep better at night, and it turns out resistance exercise may have a similar effect.
A 2015 study concluded that resistance exercise at any time of the day can improve quality of sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try lifting some weights for your nightly routine; it may actually help your sleep cycle. Lifting weights can be done anywhere and can be an easy addition to your nightly routine.
Releasing stress from the day
Exercise is one of the healthiest ways to release stress. If you are stressed after a long day, exercising at night can be a great way to unwind. If you are prone to eat or just sit and watch television at night, try exercising instead.
The endorphins released from exercise can make you feel better and can put you in a better mood when you’re done.
May be better for your metabolism
Exercising in the evening or at night may actually have a metabolic advantage, according to scientists from the University of Chicago. Researchers found that men who exercised in the evening or at night had different metabolic adaptations than men who exercised earlier in the day.
Night exercisers had lower blood glucose levels than those who exercised in the morning. Researchers concluded that this may mean people who exercise at night may have a more favorable metabolic adaptation to exercise than people who exercise in the morning.
Recent research studies have found that exercising at night may have some specific advantages. First, there may be a metabolic advantage to exercising at night, although more research is needed for exercise timing throughout the day. Another benefit to exercising at night is that your muscles may be able to push harder at night compared to working out in the morning.
Exercising later in the day can mean you have more energy and can be used as a healthy stress reliever at the end of the day. The most important component for any exercise program is what you are going to stick with long term, whether it is at night, during the day or better yet multiple times throughout the day!
References used in this article