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Pros and Cons of Exercising Before Bed

Ever since the evolution of gyms and fitness, in particular, workout enthusiasts have been practicing their exercising routines early in the morning or in the afternoon.

However, for some people that sounds like an impossible task. That’s mainly because of the work, nursing, or other obligations that include other people too.

Unfortunately, for them, that oftentimes means exercising before hitting the bed. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of exercising before bed and how to find the perfect balance.

6 Pros Of Exercising Before Bed

6 Pros Of Exercising Before Bed

Terry Cralle, RN

Exercising late in the evening or night can have a lot of benefits to our health if we can adapt properly. In this section we’ll talk about the pros of exercising before bed and how to get the most of this experience.

1. Less Probability of Injury

Sometimes, working out in the morning can come with potential risks like getting injured. For a lot of people who wake up extremely early, the chances are they’ll unwillingly hit the gym or training ground to get it off their daily schedule.

In their hurry, they may forget to warm up and end up getting a sprained ankle or another sort of muscle strain that could keep them away from exercising for a while.

If you choose to exercise in the evening, or before bed, that means that your body is already warm from going to work, school, university, or tending to your other obligations. You won’t have to warm up for too long and you’ll be ready in no time to safely exercise without getting potentially injured.

2. More Relaxed Mornings

One of the hardest things about working out in the morning includes an unwillingness to stand up and leave the cozy comfort of your bed. If you know you’ll be exercising in the evenings, that means you can have more rest in the morning before work and school.

A lot of people who work out in the morning choose to bail out when it comes to going to the gym or exercising on rain or bad weather just after they’ve woken up.

If you’re exercising in the evening, you know the weather and how you feel overall, you won’t feel too sleepy, drowsy, or bound to the bed as you do in the morning.

3. Energy Boost

Energy Boost

Terry Cralle, RN

Usually, when we finish work we feel exhausted to the point we’ll easily throw ourselves in the bed as soon as we get home. But, that can be counter-effective because if we fall asleep in the afternoon we’ll have more difficulties sleeping in the night as we’ll be forced to stay up late.

Exercising provides an energy boost and adrenaline to the point we can stay up until we reach the bedtime, we’ll be able to carry on with some activities we’ve planned for the evening and won’t urge ourselves to sleep.

4. Good Decompressing

Office and day to day life, in particular, can be fast and stressful. As a result of that, you may often end up feeling worn out, or even angry and stressed because of the office work. There’s no better way to vent and unwind than with exercising in the gym.

All the stress, nervousness, anger, and tension can be thrown out through running, walking, cycling and lifting exercises. Relaxing at the gym will help you forget about worries even for the shorter time and relax you.

5. No Time Pressure

Similarly to a more relaxed morning, evening exercising doesn’t constrain you in terms of time. You can do whatever you want, go wherever you want and don’t rush with daily obligations like running to work, or to pick up children from kindergarten or school.

6. Less Pressure During Day

If you’re doing a tasking workout such as swimming, you may be left exhausted for the rest of the day. By working in the evening, you’ll be able to focus on your daily activities and enjoy your free time with friends or family.

Exercising in the evening can help boost the daily social life instead of trapping you in the gym, both physically and mentally.

6 Cons of Exercising Before Bed

6 Cons of Exercising Before Bed

Terry Cralle, RN

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits of hitting the gym in the evening, as well as exercising, whether it’s at home or a fitness center. However, everything that comes with positive sides also has the negative sides so now we’ll review the cons of exercising before the bed.

1. More Possible to Bail

Even though exercising in the morning comes with its temptation of bailing, after having a long and exhausting day and going through stressful episodes at work or university, you may want to bail the training. Who wouldn’t like to just jump into the bed after a long day?

That said, it’s more probable that you’ll only want to wrap up the day and avoid exercising even though it could soothe and relax you from all the negativity from a day. Still, for some people who bail in the evening, it likely means less stress too.

2. Crowds

If you’re one of those who visit gyms in the evening, don’t think you’re the only one. A lot of people have to work or study for the biggest part of the day and it’s likely to have to visit the gym in the evening too.

That means less availability on machines and other tools for working out, having to go through the limits stated on certain machines you wouldn’t normally need to go through if it was less crowded. Also, more people mean it’s potentially louder and harder to focus on workouts.

3. Less Availability

There’s always a certain point of time at which public transport won’t function anymore. Not even taxis or Uber is easy to find beyond that point in time. For many people, it means it’s impossible to go to the gym if it’s significantly further from your home.

Additionally, those who jog and the cycle will have difficulties returning home after finishing their workout as a result of fewer options.

4. Disrupted Sleep

Whether exercising in the night disrupts a sleep pattern or not is a thing of debate, with a lot of split opinions. While some people claim they sleep like the babies after a good exercise or workout, many other people report they have difficulties falling asleep and are likely to stay awake late into the night.

This happens because working out is responsible for certain hormonal releases which result in our metabolism working under a load, becoming boosted up.

Beyond average active metabolism may cause disruptions to your sleep patterns. This especially applies to higher levels of adrenaline and other stress hormones that can prevent night rest.

5. Higher Temperature

Another thing that could disrupt your sleep after the workouts are the higher temperature which is the cause of late-night restlessness. When we workout our temperature rises and even though we do our best to sweat it out, the temperature deposits and extremely hot showers which are usually the result of working out usually keep us up at night.

Read More: What Is the Perfect Temperature for Sleep?

6. Social Life Decay

It’s worth mentioning that late-night exercising can have psychological implications on your social life that may decay after prolonged experience in the gym. Perhaps, not all your friends are available throughout other parts of the day and prefer hanging out in the evening.

While social distancing and isolation are good at times like these, it’s also important to point that it can lead to boredom, loneliness, and depression. These conditions lead towards the first con, and that is the potential to bail.

Finding The Perfect Balance

Sleep starts before you get into bed

Terry Cralle, RN

As you can see exercising before bed comes with both benefits and drawbacks. However, that’s alright because so does the morning workout.

Nevertheless, while morning workouts only force you to wake up earlier, you can easily solve the problem with night rest by sleeping earlier too. On the other hand, going to sleep after working out only means you’ll be falling asleep later than usual. Here’s how to find the perfect balance.

  • Experiment with exercises – Save your strength and energy for the weekend. If you have to exercise in the evening, try to experiment with different types of exercises to suffice your activity needs. With that in mind, try doing in-home exercises like Yoga, pilates, Reiki, and others.
  • Exercise 2 to 3 hours before bed – If you see that late-night workouts disrupt your sleep and either make you a light sleeper or an insomniac, it’s time to change your workout routine. That said, try working out two to three hours before bedtime so that your muscles can relax and hormones wear off. Also, if you shower after working out, try to do that too few hours before bed.
  • Plan your day out – Some people like to make daily plans or even maintain a daily bullet journal in which they split the most important exercises they’ll do in a day. During more tiring and stressful days, they’ll focus on less intense workouts, while during relaxed days they’ll go loose. This can also help plan out how to catch up with friends. Additionally, you could maybe convince some of them to join you in the evening for unwinding and chit-chatting.

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