6 Benefits of a Late-Night Workout

people running at night
A nightly sweat session can set you up for an awesome tomorrow. Here are six reasons you might want to schedule a gym visit at the end of your day.
by Autumn Jones

When it comes to the battle of workout times, morning and high noon seem to get all the glory. But before setting your alarm for the crack of dawn, or sacrificing your lunch break for a sweat session, you should consider all the benefits a late-night workout has to offer!

Here are six reasons you might want to start scheduling gym visits at the end of your day.

1. It Boosts Your Muscle Strength

If your goal is to get stronger and tap into maximum muscle strength, you may want to plan workouts for later in the day. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, peak muscle performance occurs in the afternoon and early evening because of fluctuations in hormone levels and core body temperature. Trading in your morning weightlifting routine for an exercise session later in the day could be the key to enjoying a few benefits!

2. You Can Focus Better

A crowded gym can be energizing — but it also means waiting to use equipment and occasionally chatting with your fellow members. Hitting the gym late at night allows you to avoid the masses and focus on exactly what you came to do (with fewer distractions and delays). Many Planet Fitness locations are open 24 hours a day, allowing you to fit in a workout whenever is best for you!

3. You'll Have More Energy Than You Think

As SELF magazine explains, "Research has shown we can go up to 20 percent longer [when exercising] in the evenings, and at a higher intensity." This means you'll likely find more energy for cardio and strength training in the nighttime hours, rather than first thing in the morning.

4. It Can Help You Sleep Better

You may be thinking that a late-night workout will have you so energized you won't be able to slow down when it's time to go to sleep — but the opposite is actually true! According to The Washington Post, exercise helps you sleep deeper and longer, no matter what time of day you exercise. In fact, working out after dark can help you fall asleep faster.

5. You'll Be Less Stressed

The stress of a long day can make you want to crawl into your comfy pants and hit the couch (understandably), but a late night workout is a perfect way to decompress. As Mayo Clinic points out, exercise releases a flood of feel-good brain chemicals — known as endorphins — that reduce your stress levels and boost your mood.

6. The Next Day Will Be Incredible

An added bonus to a nightly sweat session is that it sets you up for an awesome tomorrow. Between draining your daily stress levels and sleeping like a newborn puppy, you'll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next day.

Although working out at night is full of benefits, you still may not be ready to give up your daytime routine. No worries! Keep the option of a late night workout in the back of your mind for those days when you oversleep or have an early-morning obligation and can't make it to the gym. Or, if you're willing to experiment, try exercising after the sun sets and see if you notice any positive changes.

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.