The Society of Evening Exercisers
You see one of those poor chaps through the gym window, sweating through a workout while you are headed to a bar, the movies, or a restaurant, you probably might feel sorry for them. But here's the truth: They love it. Their evening sweat fests are not only some of the most intense workouts they've ever done, they are also the most fun. But what about all the dire research warning against evening exercise? Maybe you’ve heard that p.m. sweat sessions could bring on insomnia. Or that evening exercisers are less likely to stick with a workout routine. But if you do the right workout, dread waking up at the crack of dawn and naturally have more energy at night, here are 7 great reasons to exercise at night. Image: Getty
You don't have to fight the crowds.
When it comes to die-hard exercisers, there are more morning larks than night owls. And while the early bird may get the worm, the late ones get the extra towels, choice of treadmill, and extra elbow room on the weight floor. Have you ever been to the gym during the peak morning rush? Go at night and never again will you fend off the evil eye while filling up that extra large water bottle at the drinking fountain. Plus, now's the perfect time to set up that circuit workout that requires 15 separate pieces of equipment you've been dying to try! Image: Getty
You have fewer rules.
Want to use the cardio machines for more than 30 minutes or maybe try out some of the personal training equipment? Gym rules you'd never even think about breaking during daylight hours suddenly get a lot more relaxed when it's just you and the night crew. While you still can't skinny dip in the lap pool (sorry), often they'll let some of the smaller stuff slide. Image: Getty
You can work out harder for longer.
A lot of workout timing research focuses on your mind, but it turns out that your body may be most ready later in the day. One study found muscular function and strength peaks in the evening hours, in addition to oxygen uptake and utilization. This means you can go harder, better, faster, stronger. Image: Getty
You can experience the freedom of night runs.
Night owls have outdoor exercise options too. Have you ever run in the dark on a warm summer night? It feels like flying. Just be sure you suit up appropriately and stay aware of your surroundings! Image: Getty
You can be more social.
Morning exercisers aren’t a chatty bunch, understandably. They’re rushing to fit in a sweat sesh before class or an early meeting. There’s no time to compare notes on favorite instructors or strike up a conversation about where someone scored their cool kicks. But evening exercisers often make the gym their sole evening plan, so they’ve got the time to be social. Among this cheery crowd, it’s easier to find workout buddies, weight-room spotters, or even just a shared smile and a laugh over a grueling class. Image: Getty
You can let out frustrations from a tough day.
Everyone has those moments dealing with a dictatorial boss, a frustrating friend, or gridlocked traffic where you just want to punch something. Working out at night can help you deal with all that rage in a positive way, so you don’t take all that anger to bed with you. Tip: Strangling your pillow when you should be catching shut-eye doesn’t have the same benefits. Image: Getty
You'll have calmer mornings.
This point may seem obvious, but not having to pack your gym bag, work bag, stuff both in a locker, and then squeeze in your workout before running to the office (or school) means you'll have a less-rushed morning. You might even have time for a proper breakfast instead of just grabbing a granola bar on-the-go. But the best part? No more 30-second gym showers! You can take your time in the evening. Maybe even enjoy the sauna. Image: Getty