Welcome back to this week’s edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays where we are talking about one exercise topic for two minutes and giving you three reasons why you should follow our advice. Now this week, we are talking to those of you who work out late at night. You just finished a long day of work and you are about to head to the gym but it is 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 PM at night. It is late in the evening. What things do you need to make sure you are doing to have a safe, effective, and efficient workout?
1) Analyze How Your Body Is Doing
Our first tip is that you want to make sure you are analyzing how your body is doing as you are entering your workout. When you come to a workout after a long day, you may often be experiencing a lot of mental and emotional stress. It is common to want to workout harder in these situations. However, you have to keep in mind that exercise is a stress on your body. If you are working out at night, you need to make sure to make wise choices on what you are doing that are dependent on how you are entering your workout.
Action Step: When you get to the gym, mentally scan up and down your body to see how you are doing. If you are up for a more challenging workout, go for it! But, if you feel like the day’s events have really taken a toll on you, a lighter workout may be more appropriate.
2) Don’t Work Out To The Point Of Being Wired
Tip number two – keep in mind that after you workout late at night, you are still going to have to go to sleep. Here’s the thing – the results you get from going to the gym are, in part, attained by how well your body rests and recovers. So, if you are crushing it at the gym but it takes you two hours to unwind after and you don’t sleep well that night, consider backing off of how hard you are working out at the gym.
Action Step: Using an app like Sleep Cycle to measure the quality of sleep you get can help you determine how hard your body can tolerate working out in the evening. If you find that your sleep quality is lower after a hard workout than after a lighter one, consider adjusting your workout expectations.
3) Be Mindful Of What You Eat After Your Workout
Our last tip is to be mindful of what you are eating after your workout. A lot of times, after your workout, you need to fuel your body with healthy foods. But, you need to keep in mind that, as a late night workout person, you are going to have to go to sleep after your workout. Be mindful that you are not eating foods that are super high in sugar because your body is about to be sleeping and unable to use all of the sugars you are putting into it.
Action Step: After your evening workout, definitely take the time to get a post-workout meal or shake in. However, be mindful of the relative carbohydrate, protein, and fat content of the food you are consuming. While carbohydrates are not bad, you may want to monitor them right before you go to sleep.