15 Oct Study reveals people are going to the gym longer and later at night
Do you prefer to work out in the evenings or mornings?
Whichever is your individual preference, a new study has revealed that people are going to the gym longer and later at night. The reason appears to be a mix of convenience and motivation – here are some of the study results
How the Pandemic Changed Gym Membership
Industry figures show that since the pandemic of 2020, people are exercising longer and are fitting exercise into their daily routine better.
When looking at one of the leading national company’s, Pure Gym, they have reported that their members visit on average 1.43 times each but interestingly the 17:00-20:00 peak has been quietened, with visits being spread throughout the day and into the evening.
Furthermore, Personal Trainers are seeing a trend of online sessions, which started during lockdown, continue despite returning to ‘normal’.
Harley Edwards, a personal trainer, said 100 of her 150 clients now exercise solely online. She started an online class in February 2020 and, within a month, numbers attending the session soared to 300, with attendees from across the UK, as well as countries including Portugal and Canada. Interestingly, she didn’t offer virtual sessions, but now 66% of her 150 clients exercise exclusively online, and 33% combine it with face-to-face sessions.
Elsewhere in the UK, the demand for virtual sessions did not decrease when Welsh gyms reopened in May. And those who had cancelled had no trouble re-joining again. Most in the industry are surprised at how stable virtual sessions have stayed and how these methods continue to gain new members.
Harley commented that around 80% of her clients are mothers, and since the pandemic, they have been able to work out their lifestyles better – logging on before or after work, or when childcare allows. Additionally, she mentions that there are members of the online group who didn’t exercise until lockdown, but now they are convinced that it’s the best thing they have ever done. In contrast to those who feel they “lost the social feel” during the pandemic, and the reopening of gyms have allowed that connection to be regained – an important aspect of working out.
Online classes also remove the limitations on those who look after children. Getting out, doing some activity, and meeting other parents gives a different perspective on raising children. The lockdown has also deprived a lot of children of play and socialization, which is important for their development.
“Having spoken to lots of mums and my clients in general, I know how isolated they felt,” Harley says.
Through Lockdown, people were also able to tailor their programs to their individual needs, and Barbara Lima, 57, from Cardiff, said combining in-person and online training helped her maintain her fitness as well as mental health throughout this extremely difficult year.
Lara Rebecca, 21, a sports science student from Cardiff, goes to the gym five or six times a week and says that more than ever, she appreciates the role the gym plays in her lifestyle. “The social evasion during lockdown meant we missed the community, the social side,” she said.
Over the last three months, gym membership has grown significantly with PureGym confirming they have seen an increase of 150,000 members across the UK, with a third of customers joining for the first time.
What benefits of working out in the evening bring
Here are some benefits believed to be experienced as a result of working out in the evenings.
IT BOOSTS MUSCLE STRENGTH
It may be best to plan workouts later in the day if your goal is to get stronger and tap into maximum muscle strength.
Researchers report that peak muscle performance is estimated to occur in the afternoons and early evenings due to changes in hormone levels and body temperature. Switching from your morning weightlifting routine to an exercise session later in the day could be the key to enjoying a few benefits.
FOCUS IS BETTER
A crowded gym can energize you, but you are likely to need to wait for equipment and occasionally talk to other members. The gym is less crowded late at night so are able to focus on your workout without distractions or the need to wait for equipment.
If you go to the gym late at night, you might think that you’ll be too energized to fall asleep soon, but the opposite is usually true. Reports that exercise helps you sleep deeper and longer, no matter what time of day, are supported by evidence that you can fall asleep more quickly after working out after hours.
REDUCE OR LESSEN STRESS
After a long day, you may understandably feel like crawling into your comfy pants and hitting the couch, but working out late at night is a great way to wind down. During exercise, endorphins flood your brain, reducing your stress levels and improving your mood.
THE NEXT DAY BENEFIT
The added benefit of a nightly work out session is that it prepares you for an amazing day the next day. You’ll wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to handle the day. Furthermore, you’ll drain your daily stress and sleep like a newborn puppy.
Even if working out at night has many benefits, you may not be ready to give up your daytime routine regularly just yet. The joy of longer gym opening times is that you have the option available if you don’t have time to go to the gym, oversleep or have an early morning commitment – a late night workout is a great way to make sure you don’t miss out.
Alternatively, if you’re willing to experiment, try exercising after sunset and see what changes you notice. Remember though that the best time to exercise is when you want to!
Get your evening workouts done with VH&F
Mornings, afternoons, and evenings will be better with VH&F
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