As athletes, we know that sleep and rest is necessary to our training. Without good rest in between our training, our muscles don't have the time they need to recover from our workouts and grow. We also know that without sleep, it makes it harder to make good nutritional choices since hormones like Leptin and Ghrelin affect our appetite. But what we hear a lot about regarding sleep is the timing of it—not just how much we are supposed to get a night but in particular for athletes, we hear that we shouldn't be training so closely to our bedtimes if we don't want them to be negatively affected. Promax is here to set the record straight. Here are 5 reasons that it's a perfectly good idea to fit in an evening workout.
1. You Won't Miss Out on Sleep - The thing about morning workouts, is that even if you get your workout out of the way before the stress of your day sets in, you often end up losing out on sleep. If you ask many athletes if they hit the snooze button or force themselves to wake up an hour or more early to fit in their workout, many may admit that they sacrifice sleep for a workout. But that's not a good thing, because we need sleep just as much as we need exercising. Fitting in a workout in the afternoon or evening however, helps avoid missing out on sleep. You're already up and going on about your day, so why not throw on your spandex and fit in a workout before turning in for the night?
2. Your Body is Already Warmed Up - In the morning your body is hopefully well rested from the busy day before and so warming up your muscles and getting motivated takes some effort. But in the afternoon and evening, you are already accustomed to being awake and moving around. A study from Northeastern University even found that a body's temperature is higher between the hours of 2:00pm and 6:00pm and thus it's easier to push your body to its limits when your muscles are warmer. Who knows, this could begin a new habit of hitting the gym for happy hour, instead of the bar.
3. You'll Have a Buddy - It's not easy to find a friend who has the same fitness goals and motivations as you and even when you do, it's certainly difficult to find one who is open to getting up at the break of dawn to work out. If you choose to work out in the late afternoon or evening however, it's must more likely that you'll find a workout buddy who has a similar work schedule to you so you can find a convenient time that works for each of you.
4. You'll Avoid Too Much Sun - The great thing about this time of year is that the sun rises early and sets late. That said, it's hard to find the motivation to work out when the sun is too high in the sky. More important than motivation, is that it can be difficult to remain hydrated when it's so hot out. If you make the decision to exercise in the evening, then you can take advantage of the cool summer evenings and be refreshed by your workout rather than overheated.
5. You Will Sleep Better - Exercise gets a hormone pumping in our body called epinephrine, similar to adrenaline, meaning that we do get a little lift from it. But that said, it's not a HUGE lift with a big enough effect to keep us up at night. In fact, a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology states that unless exercising at a very high intensity, your workout is not very likely to negatively affect your sleep. Other studies go so far as to show that those who exercise, no matter what time of day, sleep better than those who don't.
What's Your Evening Routine? Do you workout in the evening? If so, how do you schedule your workout and post meal nutrition with your sleep? We'd love to hear about your routine. Feel free to join the discussion on our Facebook page or get in touch directly!
http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/22/health/upwave-night-exercise/ http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/exercise-and-sleep http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/exercise-affects-sleep_n_3437881.html