Struggle to get up in the morning? Feel guilty you can’t rise and shine? Don’t be! Our bodies all work differently. Working out in the morning might be ideal for one person and less effective for another.
We’ve got some research you night owls will want to read. Morning exercise definitely has its benefits but working out in the afternoon has its own upsides. And some of them are pretty great!
Here are 5 benefits of exercising in the afternoon…
You train harder
Take you a while to muster up the energy to exercise? It’s normal. Research shows we are at peak performance in strength and endurance later in the day. One reason for this is our glucose levels are higher after a few meals. This gives us the energy to tackle harder workouts. Because we tend to work harder in the afternoon, we also burn more calories – up to 10% more. So if you’re planning on exerting more physical energy, afternoons are best.
Regulates your body clock
Working out at any time of the day has been found to regulate our body clock. But one study found exercising in the afternoon balances circadian rhythms by producing more internal clock proteins needed for regulation than any other time. So if you have trouble sleeping or getting into a nightly routine, afternoon exercise may help you fall asleep earlier. Word of warning: training too late can have the opposite effect.
Motivates you to make healthier choices when you get home
You get home, open the fridge, grab a bite and realise you weren't even hungry. If your healthy intentions tend to fall by the wayside after lunch, heading to a class as soon as you finish work will keep you on the straight and narrow. As instructor Jacinta says, “you’re less likely to pick up a naughty treat if you’ve just sweated it out.” Working out in the afternoon is also a great tool for those who find the 3pm slump an excuse to pick up sugar. You might be less inclined if you know you have a workout coming up.
Helps you leave work behind
Exercise is widely known to help reduce stress. Afternoon exercise, specifically, can be used strategically to put boundaries around your work day and let off steam. This is particularly helpful if you have a demanding 9-to-5. There’s nothing worse than getting home and feeling like you’re still at work. An afternoon workout is an effective way to leave work behind. It reduces cortisol and adrenaline levels, releases tension, and gives you endorphins so you’ll get home in a better mood.
Avoids the afternoon slump
Got a busy night ahead? After a full day at work or running errands, sometimes all you want to do is stare at the TV. Whether you’re studying, cooking dinner for the family, or just have a night of socialising, afternoon exercise gives you a boost of energy to carry you through. Studies show exercise increases energy levels by 20% and decreases fatigue by 65%. So catching a class after work will give you that much-needed second wind.
At the end of the day, any exercise is better than no exercise. But with so many blogs saying morning exercise is best, we thought we’d even the score!