Why You Should Re-Consider Your Evening Physical Activity?
Have you ever spent the night twisting from side to side after a successful workout and not even counting sheep helped?
The key word is cortisol, but from the beginning.
There are as many opponents of evening workouts as there are proponents.
If we look at training from the perspective of physical benefits, research leaves no doubt - both endurance training and strength training work best in the evening. The reasons for the research findings will be discussed another time. The research itself, as it usually happens, is short and the groups are studied for periods of several months, depending on whether the effect is supposed to be the loss of body fat or building muscle mass.
On the other hand, if we look at veteran athletes, especially experienced athletes, we can see an interesting correlation - they are not the ones who usually train at night. At a higher level of proficiency the workouts are spread out in morning and afternoon cycles, and evenings are left for important (if not the most important) regeneration. After all, it is during the regeneration that all good, desired by us and worked out changes take place. The best regeneration is... sleep.
Can and why can evening training interfere with sleep?
The answer is as always - it depends. Because it depends on what kind of training. The most important factor is still the intensity. In short, high-intensity activities such as heavy weight training or long runs stimulate processes that are responsible for the fight or flight mechanism, the heartbeat accelerates, our nervous system is strongly stimulated. There is a release of adrenaline, cortisol into the blood. And cortisol is the key word here. Hormones, of course, have this to themselves that they naturally fall. However, in everyone the process looks and lasts differently. It is the same with coffee, any other stimulants. After drinking coffee, some people can fall asleep in half an hour, while others will be ten hours running around and running around doing errands. Surprisingly, high intensity training is also a stimulant for us. From a biochemistry perspective, it doesn't make much difference whether we're stimulated by coffee, drugs or weightlifting - the hormonal effect is similar.
What kind of sport, then, can you do in the afternoon without disrupting the cycle of recovery and rest, taking care of the authoritative effects of training?
One with low to medium intensity, e.g:
It is assumed that you can also do non-strenuous strength training, but from my own experience - I don't recommend it. Strength training takes you to a different level of using your body's reserves, and it can take eight hours to get back to the status quo (six to eight for me personally).
However, if after sunset you focus on a light, pleasant workout, such as a walk, you will not only not disrupt the daily rhythm, but actually help it, you will fall asleep faster, extend the phase of deep sleep, and in effect even get up earlier. It is important to finish the activity about an hour before going to bed. Then we give the body time to calm down properly. Tested many times, it works.
The benefits of regular training, even in the evening, are enormous, so it would be unwise to give it up completely. Instead, the challenge, the work to be done and the mystery to be undergone is to understand yourself, look at your reactions and listen to yourself. Only then, when you understand how much time you need to calm down and rest, you can start to plan further activities in a reasonable way. Because it's not about giving up, but about spreading them wisely in time, giving yourself the best chance to realize your dreams.
I invite ou to trainings and consultations,
JUSTYNA WENECKA | personal trainer