Exercise! - To workout late at night or not?

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07-24-2008, 01:18 PM
So I work full time 8am -5pm. I work about an hour from home. So that means I leave at 7am and get home at 6pm. Normally I work out after work at 6pm-7/7:30pm then I rush home to cook a healthy meal and then rush off to bed by 9pm or 10pm, if I’m lucky, so I can get my eight hours in. I have tried and tried to get up in the morning to workout and it is just not in my body's vocabulary. I have tried every thing.
Sometimes I have to work late, or there is something I need to do after work so I can’t go to the gym right from work. Some time I just want to take a moment to freaking breathe instead of running from work to the gym.

So my question is this……:?:to workout late or not? :shrug:Some times there is a spinning class at 7:30-8:30…by the time I get home it would be 9pm which is pretty much bed time. I know it is best to workout in the morning to kick that metabolism in high gear, to get it out of the way, and many many wonderful reasons. But right now that is not me. Maybe in the future, as I will keep trying, but for now…what do you think about working out late? Wouldn’t I just be revving up the metabolism and energy just to go to bed? But on the other hand I am still burning calories….AAAHHHH, it just goes round and round in my head, 3FC make it stop. :headache:


Marathon Mom
07-24-2008, 01:46 PM
I currently work out in the evenings. I thought at first the endorphins would make it difficult to fall asleep. However I have no problem sleeping.
I would encourage you to work out - early morning or evening... You'll feel better and look better for it!

07-24-2008, 01:51 PM
I'm in the same boat as you in terms of scheduling. I find it VERY hard to wake up early enough to get in any significant exercise before I get ready and begin my looong commute to work. So I've been working out in the evenings, when I am more awake, my muscles are "warm" from a whole day of moving and walking, and I'm not limited by having to go get ready for work. Also, since I've already done most of my eating for the day, I know how well I ate and whether I should go an extra 10 - 15 mins. or not to compensate for some snacking.

I try to exercise as early as possible, though, so if I can work out at 7:00 versus 9:00, I try to do that and eat a light dinner afterwards. But if not, I start working out as late as 9PM some nights. I won't begin exercising after 10PM, however (though I often finish at around 10:00). Beginning at 10:00 seems a little too late to me.

07-24-2008, 02:57 PM
I usually do my exercise either in the afternoon (a walk on my lunch break) or late in the evening (a 1- or 2-mile WATP or other Leslie Sansone video; if time permits I do part of the Super Challenge). It doesn't bother my sleep; if anything I've slept better since I started exercising than I did before

07-24-2008, 03:28 PM
My husband and I don't ever get to work out until 7:30pm at night and finish about 8:30 or shortly after. I have to go to bed around 9:30 as I get up at 3:30. It's not ideal but it's better than not at all =)


07-24-2008, 03:31 PM
Let me first just say it hasn't been proven that working out in the morning is any more effective than working out at night. I've also read things that say working out later in the day can actually be more effective because your core temperature is higher (it cools naturally when we sleep) enabling you to work out more effectively and at a higher intensity than you can first thing in the morning.

What I think it all comes down to is work out when you have the time. I personally cannot just jump out of bed and hit the treadmill. I need at least an hour or two to eat something, wake up a little, etc. In terms of getting it out of the way...you want to make the whole exercise-thing as enjoyable as possible. If you are just too tired in the morning and your body isn't going for it I see nothing wrong than doing it at night. The important thing is you're doing it and it's not so torturous that you give up completely after a couple of weeks.

If you find you're having trouble sleeping I would say try some warm milk (I did that a few weeks ago when I needed to be up at 5am and I couldn't for the life of me fall asleep, it works!). The tryptophan which is supposed to help your brain to relax by stimulating the release of certain neurotransmitters. Almonds have magnesium which is a muscle relaxant. You could even try some herbal teas or a warm bath if you've having trouble coming down from your workout. For me it kinda depends on the type of workout and the type of day I'm having. If I've been really stressed out I actually find that working out later makes it easier to sleep.

07-24-2008, 03:39 PM
We do it at night mostly- well- we're trying to figure a schedule out and at least my husband works out at night. I find that I sleep much better actually after working out. But- I do need like an hour at least between finishing up and going to bed.

07-24-2008, 04:09 PM
This is great help. I think I just need you guys to help break the cycle in my head that sabotages me from working out at night so I don't work out at all. Which is just lame. Working out vs. not working out....it should be a no brainer. Workout! A calorie burned is a calorie burned. UGH! Why does our brain play such wicked tricks on us. Thank you for the slap in the face :frypan:. Keep it coming.:D

07-24-2008, 06:12 PM
Another suggestion: If you can, you might want to invest in a treadmill or some other type of cardio equipment for home. That would shave some time off getting to the gym and back. Oftentimes, you can find a good deal on Craigslist.

On another note, I prefer to work out in the mornings just because I'm more consistent that way (and my schedule allows for it). However, I do feel that I actually get a better workout when I work out in the afternoon or evening. I tend to have more energy, and I usually burn more calories because I can set the machine on a higher level. So, the moral of this story is: Don't feel bad because you're not a morning exerciser! :)

Apple Cheeks
07-24-2008, 07:03 PM
I run on a treadmill 5 nights a week for 40-50 minutes before I go to bed. I have absolutely no problems sleeping afterwards! In fact, I think it actually helps me sleep more soundly.

I don't see any problem with working-out late, as long as it is not a problem for you.

If it fits with your schedule and is convenient for you, then it's the "best" time for you to work-out, regardless of what other people might be doing or when. :)

07-24-2008, 10:20 PM
This is something I've been struggliing with lately. Since getting back on track I have consistently worked out in the mornings on most of the days I don't work. On the two days that I am working I have been running outside either midday or at the end of the day. Then the heat wave came and I didn't want to collapse... so didn't run. Now, I find my mileage is decreasing and I am not happy about that. Today, I was able to rationalize not exercising and considered an evening run on treadmill after children in bed. Didn't do that either.
Argh.. forgive my long somewhat OT post. Just feeling a little concerned about a possible/ always at risk slide backwards.. Sorry.

Back on topic, DH works out in the evening after work. He says he is incapable of moving in the am and is getting in the work out in the only time frame he has. He does ok with that.

good luck to us all :) !!

07-24-2008, 11:17 PM
This is great help. I think I just need you guys to help break the cycle in my head that sabotages me from working out at night so I don't work out at all. Which is just lame. Working out vs. not working out....it should be a no brainer. Workout! A calorie burned is a calorie burned. UGH! Why does our brain play such wicked tricks on us. Thank you for the slap in the face :frypan:. Keep it coming.:D

When I workout after work I find it easier to just go right away and get it done. I have a quick snack (like a smoothie or something that's always less than 200cals) that I eat while I change into gym clothes and then just go before I hvae time to think about it. You know you should do it...so don't give yourself time to rationalize not doing it.

kittycat - I was just kind of going through a similar thing...that is, freaking out that I might start sliding back into my old ways. I think it happens to everybody and the most important thing is to recognize what could happen and make sure you stay on top of it. At the end of the day, it's probably good to take the odd few days off exercise. I wasn't losing and started freaking out and ended up stopping my weights for a week and just focusing on cardio. I couldn't wait to start doing my weights again this week and I'm actually enjoying it again. If your mileage drops for a few weeks fine...but I would give yourself permission to take those few days off and then have a set date where you start getting back into your normal routine again. It makes it seem less permanent and you feel more in control. It's not slacking so much as it is part of your routine.

07-25-2008, 01:59 AM
I work out at night . . . (which is actually almost morning for me, because I work pretty late) and it works great for me. I almost never have problems going to sleep (and when I do, I think it has more to do with unrelated issues than the exercising).

I think the best time to work out is the time that works for you!

07-25-2008, 05:57 AM
I work out at night most days. I've been working at 6am (no way am I getting up at 3:30am to exercise if it's not necessary!!) and my afternoons are usually full, too. I had heard people say that it makes it hard for them to fall asleep, but I actually find it easier -- the exercise relaxes me so I'm not laying in bed worrying, or thinking about things I'm supposed to be doing, and I fall asleep more quickly.

07-25-2008, 12:07 PM
I pretty much have the same schedule BUT my job have a gym so I workout on my lunch brake. SOmetimes I go outside sometime I go to the gym. I also started to do a 30 min workout in the morning at about 5:30am because after work I usually dont feel like doing much. I have two children and I am single so this works out great for me.

07-25-2008, 12:20 PM
Could you do 20-30 minutes during your lunch break? Your schedule is tough so I can see your issue. Even though I have 2 children vying for my attention, I live 3 miles from my job. It helps that school is out now, too.

I personally workout 30 minutes in the morning, about an hour after work, and at least twice a week I try to get in 30 minutes between dinner and bed time. I sleep just fine. As a matter of fact, I notice that I sleep better when I get in a late workout.

07-28-2008, 11:53 PM
I've worked out at night before, it fitted my lifestyle better than. I honestly don't think it makes much difference as long as you can keep it up.

07-29-2008, 09:23 AM
I work out right after work. I actually work out from home and instead of commuting home, I go for a long walk. The walk serves as my break between work and off work (which can be hard when you work at home) but in the early days, my walks were so exhausting I slept like a log. I don't get exhausted anymore, but I still don't have any trouble sleeping!

07-29-2008, 04:58 PM
Thanks for all your help gals! I don't mind working out then sleeping. I actually enjoy knowing that I get to curl up in a ball and sleep after my workout. I love to sleep. I think it was my head playing game with me, like trying to get me out of working out. It is a head game excuse. It is nice to know others go through what I go through, having to work out late.
I have thought about working out on my lunch break but I won't give the full effort I know I can give because i don't want to sweat. Also, I work in a VERY HOT area, all summer it has been around 90-100 degrees. It just kills me.
I am working on breaking up the routine this week. If that means working out late, so be it.