These days, it seems that squeezing time for a workout into a busy schedule is becoming harder than ever. In fact, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, no more than 5% of adults engage in half an hour of physical activity on a daily basis, and only one in three adults meets the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
You cannot abandon your workout simply because you are not a morning exerciser. If you are one of those people who hit snooze buttons more often than they hit the gym, you’ll be glad to know that there is still a way to stay productive. Even more so, it might turn your entire life around.
A study from the University of Chicago reveals that people who hit the gym after working hours, are more likely to achieve more levels of fitness when compared to those that workout first thing in the morning.
While this type of regime certainly will benefit your day-to-day productivity, your social life will thank you for this change as well. So for those who hate waking up at dawn, here are some surprising advantages of exercising at night.
- The Gym Is Not Overcrowded
Gyms are usually over-crowded in the morning, because most of the people try to fit in a pre-work exercise session in their daily schedule. If you go to a gym past 20h, you will not have to race for treadmills, wait for dumbbells, or wait in line for the shower, etc. In addition, it is the perfect time to set up a circuit workout with as many pieces of equipment as you want to.
- Have a Longer and a Harder Workout
While a lot of research that warns you against working out in the evening focuses on your mind and habits, it turns out that your body is better prepared in the evenings. A recent study from the University of North Texas found that muscular function peaks in the late hours. Your muscles are more flexible, your reaction time is quicker and your blood pressure and heart rate are lower, which means that your strength and endurance are higher, and the likelihood of injury is decreased.
- You Can Be More Socially Active
Understandably, morning exercisers do not generally talk that much; they are usually in a rush before a morning class or an early meeting. They do not have the time to compare notes on favorite workout regimes or talk about dieting. However, people who exercise in the late afternoon often make gym their sole evening plan, so more often than not they have the time to be social. The nonstop fitness is becoming more and more popular in Europe, and it is just a matter of time before it crosses-over in the United States.
- You Will Sleep Better
While some forms of exercise can make it harder for you to fall asleep, a 2015 study from the Journal of Strength & Conditioning revealed that individuals who lift weights in the evening hours have a higher quality and duration of sleep than the people who do the same training in the early hours. Lifting weights at night will help you expend more energy, sleep better throughout the night and wake up refreshed the next day.
Whether you spend your day sitting in meetings, worrying about deadlines or running errands, you need to spend at least 30 minutes working out and relieve that stress. Even if you sometimes feel like you are too tired and drained to hit the gym after a long day at the office, exercise may just be the right thing you need to decompress your stress and re-energize for the next day.