Shy Scots prefer to exercise at night to avoid embarrassment


BASHFUL SCOT’S are choosing to exercise late at night to avoid feeling embarrassed at the gym.

A growing number of people are going to 24-hour gyms in the early hours, when the venues are significantly less crowded.

Gym owners across the country believe that more women are now coming in later on in the day because they feel “self conscious” exercising in front of others.

But it’s not just women who are using the round the clock facilities.

Bashful Scot's are working out at night instead
Bashful Scot’s are working out at night instead

Shift workers and those in the emergency services have been seen exercising at unusual times as they attempt to fit exercise into their busy schedules.

While exercising at these time may be strange to some, health experts say that it’s better than not exercising at all.

One Glasgow 24 hour gym has seen almost 700 visits by users between 10pm and 7am in the past month having steadily increased over the year. .

Hugh Mullan, who runs the Anytime Fitness gym in the city’s West End says he has been surprised at the number of people opting for late night workouts.

The gym owner said: “What we find is that a lot of women in particular are self-conscious and the idea of a 24-hour gym where they can come either early morning or late at night when it is quieter is definitely something that appeals to them.

Edinburgh’s Ocean Terminal’s PureGym said that they have seen around 40 people using the facilities between midnight and 6am on an average day.

Manager, Elaine Mitchell, said those using the gym at these times tend to be police officers and paramedics.

She noted that more and more businessmen using the gym late at night, as they try to blow off some steam.

Every single club across the world will be busy

Mitchell added: “There are also clients who are that bit shyer for different reasons, and at the peak times after work every single club across the world will be busy.

“But those who may be shy know that the club is quieter outside of these times and that’s when they can come.”

And it seems that this belief also extends to the Gym Group’s Waterloo Place venue in Edinburgh.

Here they have seen between 50 and 200 visits each night between 11pm and 6am.

General manager, Fraser Kennedy, puts this down to more people doing shift work.

Kennedy said: “The Monday to Friday, 9-5 thing for a lot of people is not standard anymore, so you do find people are trading at more irregular hours.”

One early morning exerciser, Kay Boyde, says her 20kg weight loss is mainly down to being able to go to the gym at 5am.

The 62-year-old said: “I find it more beneficial for me to go early because it’s quiet and you don’t have a lot of younger people who are super-fit who are there and interacting with each other.

“You might be older and slightly larger than them. But early in the morning you can get on, do your own thing. It’s more enjoyable and you meet people who are there to train and not pose.”

Police officer, Ginny McKenna, who attends uses PureGym in Edinburgh says that the late night workouts fit better around her work schedule.

Work schedule

The 50-year-old said: “I can go straight after finishing work, so I could be there at one, two or three o’clock in the morning. It is quiet enough at that time so you can get use of all the equipment.

“It is a nice relaxing atmosphere and it is nice that it’s available.”

A professor of sport, health and exercise at Stirling University said that exercise at any time of the day or night was better than not exercising at all.

Prof Kevin Tipton said: “There are studies that show that certain people respond better to exercise at certain times of the day.

“For example, some people are happiest exercising in the morning and they get most out of it then, but other people can’t and they need to be exercising in the afternoons and will be able to do it better at those times.”


  1. Take a look at that headline – are British journalist’s (sic) illiterate? I think they could be legible (sic!) for another line of work.

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