The benefits of evening exercise are plentiful, and they extend beyond the fitness enthusiast. Watching your body clock work in favor of you can have major benefits across the board. Exercise has been shown to improve mental health by lifting moods and reducing stress levels. Less intrusive evening activities offer a sense of calm that can counteract some of the loud noises and bright lights that commonly plague us during the day. In terms of health, exercise has been shown to improve Cognition, Memory, Immunity, Cardiovascular Health, andweight loss. The following infographic from Web MD breaks down each benefit in more detail:
1) Better Cognitive Functioning – Evening exercise leads to improved memory and cognitive function because it causes increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Improving fluid flow within the brain has been linked to better thinking speed and overall cognitive performance.
2) Better Mood – Exercise has an immediate effect on raising mood levels, thanks to endorphins released during activity. The hormone melatonin is also suppressed after activity, which may leave you feeling grumpy in the morning!
3) More Restful Nights – Everyday activities like playing music or talking on the phone late into the night can disrupt sleep patterns. When bedrooms are free of disturbance at bedtime, people tend to get a more restful night’s sleep. This improves overall well-being and reduces symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
4) Improved Immunity – Another positive impact of evening exercise is improved immunity because it increases lymphatic circulation. Lymphatics are responsible for moving nourishment around your body and work best when they are functioning properly as part of an overall healthy immune system.
5) Lower Cholesterol Levels – Skipping evening exercise can lead to elevated cholesterol levels because it decreases blood flow throughout your body. Evening exercise also increases mitochondria (the powerhouses inside cells), which helps shuttle cholesterol away from arteries for disposal.
6) Prevent Obesity – One major concern with current lifestyles is the increasing prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. One major contributor is overeating in the evening hours where cortisol levels spike after eating carbohydrates instead of proteins or unsaturated fats. Cortisol is known to promote weight gain via its effects on carbohydrate metabolism in your body.