What to do if working out late is your only option But you Still Want Good Sleep

Man working out late evening running in the dark

What should you do if you have no choice but to exercise in the evening? Leanne shares her tips on what to do if working out late is your only option.

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

The best time to exercise

What to do if working out late is your only option

Key Takeaways:

The best time of day for most of us to exercise is in the mid to late afternoon where these 4 things peak:

Grip strength

Protein synthesis


Body temperature

Exercise puts us into the sympathetic dominant nervous system state, which means elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, elevated cortisol, and even bringing blood sugar into the blood via glycogen released by the liver. All these are not conducive to sleep.

When you sleep, you want to be in a parasympathetic driven state, which is rested and digested. It’s going to be tricky to get to sleep if your blood sugar is very elevated.

Action Steps:

Think about your schedule and figure out when you can fit in your workout. Consider the rhythms of your household as well as the availability of an exercise partner, etc.

If you can only exercise in the evening:

Construct your workout such that the hardest, most demanding part is done in the first part and get it to be progressively easier, particularly in terms of heart rate.

Finish your workout with 2, 5, or even 10 minutes of breathwork and/or meditation.

Take a cold shower or a hot bath.

Consider what you eat after your workout.

Cap off your evening with a relaxing activity. Avoid watching an action movie or the 10 o’clock news or engaging in a lively discussion with anyone.

Leanne said:

“A workout is better than no workout irrespective of what time of day it is.”

“Breathwork is one of the most powerful ways that you can get yourself from [the sympathetic to the parasympathetic state].”

If you’re interested in finding out what your health IQ is, take the Health IQ test to find out.

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