Depending on whom you ask, morning is the most dreaded moment in a day or a beginning of another splendid endeavor. Morning larks may be eager to rise and shine, but night owls usually need some time in order to get the ball rolling. They are not exactly prepared to crush it and struggle to summon that minimal level of motivation. Besides, many people have quite unforgiving schedules and have to go through the day at a breakneck speed. Getting ready for work in the locker room is not the most awesome way to go about your business.
Different as night and day
The answer to the question of timing a workout is not a clear-cut one. People have varying biological rhythms and body systems operate on different schedules. What works for some people like a charm may prove to be futile for others. There is enough evidence to support both exercise at the crack of dawn and in the dead of the night. However, here we will focus on the pros and cons of the latter approach.
Let us first address one common misconception, being that late workouts act as a snooze saboteur, inhibiting your sleep. Well, this can be true in case you go to bed straight after breaking a sweat. After all, your body temperature is raised, as well as your heart rate and adrenaline level. However, many other studies have proven that exercise does not have to interfere with sleeping habits, especially if you leave some time to wind down.
Beyond that, there are some obvious amazing perks of a nighttime workout, like not having to cope with crowds and having much more space to bounce off the gym walls. On the flip side, those who like to engage in nighttime running have to be more careful than those who hit the pavement during the day. It is advisable to plan the route ahead, steer away from the difficult or unknown terrain and use reflective clothing tape to help drivers notice you.
Peaks and valleys
Now, we will proceed to biological factors. Scientists have found that muscular function and strength peak in the evening hours. Likewise, oxygen intake and utilization are at their best during the same period. What is more, in the afternoon, energy and testosterone levels are elevated and reach their daily prime. As a result, it is estimated that your body is 20% more flexible, and more prepared to withstand stress than in the morning.
It is also clear that metabolism adapts very well to nighttime exercise and that cortisol and thyrotropin production is boosted more vigorously than in the morning. Furthermore, studies have confirmed that glucose level is decreased far more in subjects that exercise after work than those who do it before. There is some good news for weightlifters as well. Namely, protein synthesis and lung capacity work at full capacity later in the day, and the spine is more capable of enduring the strain.
So, it does not come as a surprise that scientist claim that better fitness results come to those who opt for nighttime training sessions. We know that physical activity releases endorphins, which means you can also let out frustrations from a tough day and melt the stress away. There is indeed something incredibly soothing and liberating about nighttime workouts. Just bear in mind that you need to fuel yourself right throughout the day and align your workout plan with your fitness goals in order to make the most of your effort.
A night call
People tend to perform better at different times of the day and a workout is a matter of personal choice. However, nocturnal exercise is a great outlet to blow off some steam and sleep like a baby afterward. Moreover, our bodies are best fit for physical challenges later in the day, be it a full-throttle sweat fest or a casual running session. Bustling with energy and potency, you are able to dominate the workout and make every rep count. So, feel free to sneak in a workout when the sun sets and get into perfect shape in no time.
About the Author:
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life. Check out his website ripped.me and follow him on Twitter