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What You Should Know About Working Out Before Bed

Benefits of working out at night


Have you ever found yourself asking, “Is it bad to work out at night?” For many folks, the only free time to sneak in exercise is right before bed. Those juggling family responsibilities or an unconventional schedule often have trouble finding time during the day to get active. And let’s face it, not everyone’s a morning person. Night owls need regular movement, too! 

We’ll let you in on a little secret: the best time to work out is the time that works best for YOU! But if you choose to get moving close to bedtime and prefer evening workouts, we’ve got you.

This article will explore the benefits of working out at night and help you determine whether evening workouts are right for you. We’ll show you how to incorporate working out before bed into your busy schedule. 

Don’t start your fitness journey alone. Find a club near you for expert support and guidance when you need it. 

Is it OK to Work Out at Night?

It's always easier when a question has a simple yes-or-no answer. But this isn't one of the easy ones because there's no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to working out at night. Why? Well, people are different. 

Some find that evening exercise helps them unwind and sleep better, while others may experience difficulty falling asleep due to increased energy levels. 

When deciding whether it's right for you to work out at night, start by listening to your body, considering your schedule, and, ultimately, creating a workout routine that fits your needs, like making sure you get proper rest and recovery time.

What are the Benefits of Working Out at Night?

If you start to feel that working out at night is a good fit for your lifestyle, you'll be happy to hear that there are several compelling benefits to making this decision:

  • Peak Performance: Some studies suggest that body temperature and muscle function peak in the late afternoon and early evening, potentially leading to better exercise performance during evening workouts.
  • Stress Reduction: Whether working from home or in an office, the end of the long day means a lot of us are looking for a way to reduce stress and clear our minds. And exercise is the perfect solution, releasing endorphins with mood-boosting and stress-reducing effects. 
  • Consistency: For night owls, working out in the evening can be more sustainable and convenient, making it easier to stick to a regular fitness routine.
  • Time Management: If your days are packed with work and family commitments, evenings may be the only opportunity for physical activity. Working out at the end of the day helps utilize the time you have to prioritize your health.
  • Increased Energy Levels: Exercise boosts energy levels throughout the day, even if you work out the night before. You read that right—yesterday’s workout can even help you today. This is just another positive side effect of exercise's endorphins: Big Fitness Energy™! 
  • Improved Sleep: "Exercising at night disrupts sleep" is a popular myth ready for busting. Some find exercise actually helps them fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper, more restorative rest. Since we know exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety, both common causes of sleep problems, it's not surprising that working out in the evening can help improve the body's natural sleep-wake cycle.

What to Consider if You Are Working Out Before Bed

While there are numerous benefits of working out before bed, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Getting into a regular workout routine is difficult, and there are a few things you’ll want to consider so you can maximize the benefits of a nighttime routine with a workout that works for you:

  • Type of Workout: Choose a type of workout appropriate for the time of day. For example, a HIIT class may be a fun way to wrap up the work day, but can make sleeping difficult if your class is too close to bedtime. Speaking of which...
  • Timing: It's generally advisable to finish a workout—especially a high-intensity one—at least two to three hours before turning in to allow your body to cool down and your heart rate to return to normal since this can help prevent sleep disturbances. But a slow-moving yoga class or deep stretching session is perfect before crawling into bed. 
  • Nutrition: Pay attention to your pre-workout meal. Consuming a heavy, high-protein, or high-calorie meal right before exercise can be, let's face it, uncomfortable. Opt for a light, balanced snack if you're struggling with hunger after work.
  • Hydration: Of course, you've got to stay adequately hydrated during your evening workout, but be mindful not to consume excessive fluids close to bedtime. Having to wake up for a nighttime bathroom run can be an unwelcome interruption to restful sleep. 
  • Light Exposure: If you're exercising outdoors in the early evening before sundown, exposure to natural light can be beneficial. But you want to minimize exposure to artificial light from screens in the evening, as it can interfere with your body's natural sleep-wake cycle.

Most importantly: listen to your body. Everyone's body responds differently to evening workouts. Pay attention to how your body reacts and adjust your schedule to get the most out of your workout and the restful sleep you need.

How to Incorporate an Evening Workout into Your Routine

Following through on a new workout routine is a big commitment to yourself and your well-being. Congratulations on taking the first step!

Incorporating an evening workout into your daily routine doesn't have to be a challenge. Here are a few practical tips to make it work:

  • Plan Ahead: Schedule your evening workouts in advance and put them on the calendar, just as you would with a client meeting or work event. This commitment signals the importance of exercise in your daily life.
  • Create a Routine: Establishing a consistent pre-workout routine helps ease the transition from work mode to exercise mode. This could be changing into workout attire before leaving the office or completing a short relaxation practice after your last meeting.
  • Choose a Convenient Location: If possible, select a gym or fitness facility conveniently located between home and work. You could also set up a home gym or dedicated outdoor workout space to eliminate travel time.
  • Partner Up: Invite a friend or family member to join your evening workouts. A workout buddy provides accountability, and a little socialization never hurts anyone. Bonus: if you have a PF Black Card® membership, you can bring a guest every visit.
  • Use Technology: Make life easy by using free fitness apps or online platforms to access guided workouts and exercise routines that suit your schedule and preferences. Not to brag, but Planet Fitness offers the free PF App, providing a variety of workouts under 20 minutes that you can do anywhere, anytime. Just sayin'.

Working out at night can be a viable and effective option for those with busy schedules or who simply prefer evening activities. Once you've considered the benefits, timing, and personal needs, see if evening workouts are a suitable staple for your weekly exercise routine. 

Get Started Now for Free on the PF App

Lucky for you, Planet Fitness offers a superb solution to kickstart your fitness journey. today to access a wide range of workouts designed to keep you moving, even when time is limited. Whether you prefer morning, evening, or anytime workouts, we've got you covered.