Is Working Out Before Bed Bad For You?
It’s almost impossible to scroll social media and avoid fitness related posts. Every day, trainers are posting their favorite workout, or your health-nut Facebook friend is raving about their secret fitness tips. This information can be helpful, but just as confusing and overwhelming when you want the best information. Without constant social media posts, we are all well aware of the benefits of working out and eating healthy, but we also want to know the way to get optimal results. But does the time of day matter? Is working out before bed bad for you?
The Time Of Day Matters (Kind Of)
Your fitness habits will impact your life in more ways than one. Exercise will improve your sleep quality, benefit mental health, decrease the risk of disease, and more! Before worrying too much about the specifics, consider the incredible benefits working out gives you no matter what time.
There’s a misconception that working out at night automatically will lead to poor sleep. Experts continue to study this and find that as long as you’re not running a 5K then jumping into bed, you’ll be okay. Research has found that resting for at least the hour before bedtime will give you the best chance at a good night’s sleep.
Your nighttime workout isn’t “bad” for you. But might impact your sleep if you don’t give yourself enough time to wind down. Of course, everyone is different, and if you aren’t able to tolerate going to sleep so soon after a workout, it might not be for you.
How To Maximize Your PM Workout
If an evening workout is all you can squeeze in, there are some ways to recover from your workout and get ready for bed that can give you a better chance of good sleep.
- End with yoga. Dedicate the last 10 minutes of your exercise time to yoga to help your body relax. The most recommended yoga poses for sleep are: Wide Knee Child’s Pose, Standing forward Bend, Standing Half Forward Bend, and reclining bound angle.
- Have a snack. Nutrition plays a crucial role in fitness outcomes and should be considered after hard workouts you complete before bed. Don’t go for a full meal, but be sure to refuel your body with snacks like protein bars, a smoothie, or yogurt. However, if you’re trying to avoid eating meals after a certain hour, you may not want to work out after that time either.
- Wind down. Your bedtime routine is essential each night, but especially after a workout. Your brain and body are taking cues from what you’re doing and the environment you’re in for how it should function. After your exercise, dim the lights, get into comfortable clothes, and do any nightly activities you would typically do to wind down. Think: Skincare routine or read a chapter of a book.
The Best Time To Exercise
If you have a choice in your workout time, you might be curious about what the best time to exercise. To get the right answer here, you’ll want to know your end goal. Are you working out for better sleep? To burn fat? For strength?
Studies show working out first thing in the morning can speed your metabolism and influences your eating habits throughout the day. Early morning workouts have also been shown to improve sleep. If you think an afternoon workout is best for you, you might be able to get your best performance at that time. Research has shown the body is at its peak performance ability in the afternoon hours.
Above all, we recommend getting in your sweat whenever you can. While some researchers have shown a decreased inability to sleep at night after an evening workout, it is different for everyone. Give it a try and implement the recommended nightly routine to decide if nighttime exercise works for you!
Find your best time to work out, stick with it, and stay sharp! Here are some of the best exercises to help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.