8 Reasons to shake off that slump and hit the gym tonight!
Friday nights - they signal the end of the working week and the beginning of the weekend; for many of us, that means socialising and partying until Monday rolls around. But if you're starting to feel tired of the pubs and clubs, or worried about what all that alcohol is doing to your health, why not hit the gym tonight - or any night - instead?
Evening workouts can be a great way to de-stress, unwind and work off the day's frustrations. It's true you might miss out socially, unless you bring your friends along too, but if all you have planned for your evening is a hot date with Netflix, this is a far healthier choice! There are a number of surprising benefits to working out at night - and if you're not a morning person and would rather get your fit fix at dusk, we're here to give you 9 reasons why you should start exercising at night!
Like the Bjork song says - it IS oh-so-quiet in your average gym at night time, compared to the morning madness. Many people love to squeeze in a workout before heading to the office, and the peak morning rush can be a bit hard to stomach, especially if you're shy! No choosing which machine to use, long waits for equipment and a queue for the showers. Go late at night and you'll enjoy more space, peace and quiet and your pick of the equipment!
#2. It's a great time to socialise
Try chatting to someone at the gym or at yoga class early on a Monday morning and can you really blame them if they give you the cold shoulder? Mst people are just trying to squeeze in a quick workout before work; they're not there to make new friends. HIt the gym in the evening though and you'll be amongst others who have decided to make fitness the focus of their evening - that means plenty of time to chat about your favourite gym instructors, share technique and healthy eating tips or even find a fitness buddy!
#3. It's a great way to relieve stress
Stress and frustration after a hard day at work could leave you reaching for the remote and a glass (or two) of wine. Whilst a little anger can be good for you, going to bed angry and frustrated is bad news for your health! A night-time workout can help you tackle your frustration in a positive way, reducing your stress levels and boosting your mood, so you go to bed feeling happy and are more likely to get a good night's sleep.
#4. It means less morning stress
Heading to the gym before work can be a bit of a mad rush - packing your gym bag, getting there in heavy traffic, squeezing in a workout and making it to your desk on time can all be stressful! This might mean you end up skipping breakfast (never a good idea) or grabbing a sugary cereal bar on-the-go. By making time to workout in the evening, not only can you enjoy a protein-packed breakfast, you could also treat yourself to time in the sauna at the gym later!
#5. It means time to unwind
You don't have to make every single workout about running full pelt on the treadmill or pedalling your way towards a full-body sweat. Why not try late-night pilates or yoga for a more relaxing workout? Forget turning to wine and comfort food after a stressful day - yoga or pilates could help you to relax naturally, so you go to bed and wake up feeling happy and calm.
#6. It relieves gym boredom
Night-time exercise classes can be a whole lot more fun that morning ones. Think disco body pump or hip hop dance classes - there are even bootcamps in London and across the country where you workout in the dark with glow sticks! Now that sounds better than running for an hour on the treadmill at 6am! You'll feel more motivated to stick to your gym routine if you mix it up a little and actually enjoy your workout, so try something new to banish gym boredom.
#7. It lets you workout harder
Did you know that muscular strength and function could actually peak in the evening, according to a study carried out by researchers at the University of North Texas (1)? Your body also takes in more oxygen and utilises it faster, which means you may be more ready for exercise in the evening than first thing in the morning. So you can workout harder, for longer!
#8. Break the rules
We all love to break the rules now and again, and when it's just you and a couple of night staff at your gym, they're far more likely to turn a blind eye. So you could use the cardio machines for longer than the set times, or try some equipment from the personal training area, if you like!
If you're more of a night owl than a morning person, chances are you don't need any encouragement to workout in the evening - but it's good to know about some of the benefits a night-time workout can provide! When do you prefer to workout - morning or night?
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