Changing your lifestyle means making new habits – and some good ones this time. The biggest change in my daily life was starting to play sports on morning . (If you want to know more about my change of life, the answers are there!) I know that for the most part you tell yourself that people who voluntarily put their alarm clock 1 or 2 hours earlier every morning to go lift heavy things or run in the mist are oblivious / morons / very weird people.
My morning routine
Almost every morning, I wake up at 5:40 a.m. (with a reminder around 5:50 a.m., in case Morpheus feels like fighting and pulling me into his arms for another times) . This also means that I try to fall asleep around 10 p.m. (11 p.m. max) in order to get the sleep necessary for my well-being … but also for my muscle recovery. You can read the article on the importance of sleep here!
Then, in several steps:
1. I get up and finish packing my things for the day (lunchbox and office clothes) – which I prepare the day before. I also put on a workout outfit that I like (feeling good about yourself to start the day is a must.)
2. I have a light breakfast , just enough to have energy for the sport: 1 large glass of water, a small pear, a little yogurt and a slice of wholemeal bread.
3. I go to the gym, where I do 1 hour and 15 minutes of effort as intense as possible (with mostly weight training, but also sometimes interval running.). A shower follows and the drive to the office.
4. I prepare my real breakfast at the office, with a chocolate protein shake (see here why take protein powder after sport.), A Weetabix / oatcake mix with plain yogurt and aromas, and a spoon of peanut butter. I can finally start the working day!
It sounds a bit hard at the start of the day, but in fact, I’m REALLY unhappy when I don’t do this . I only see benefits , at the end of the day.
Now that you know a lot about me and what I can do well in the morning, I will convince you that YOU TOO should do the same.
So why play sports in the morning?
1. Because it forces you to wake up earlier
But why is that a good thing, you ask me? It’s a good thing if you can stick to your sleep cycles, actually. The fact is that we often force ourselves to sleep more, and we relaunch ourselves in a sleep cycle. Suddenly, when we wake up, we are even more tired! Sleep is good, (see comment in intro), but the idea is that it is useful and effective. So we do tests to find how much sleep time we need, and we stick to this model, to be perfectly awake and ready to face the day.
2. Because you are fresh and available
It’s a fact, if you haven’t had too much of a binge the night before (in which case a longer night’s sleep is recommended, the same in the case of intense effort that deserves that you would recover quietly), just slept. And after a snack and a coffee, you’re IN TOP FORM. (you can check my article on what to eat before and after exercise here)
You have not yet accumulated the fatigue of the day, your muscles are very rested, in short, now is the time to attack in the heavy. Also consider that the more you spend your aggressiveness in sport, the more relaxed you arrive at the office or study. And that’s still great fun not to start the day stressed out.
3. Because when it’s done, there’s more to do
And that sounds like a bit of breaking open the door, but that’s a good way of thinking: you won’t have to go back tonight. That means you can do something at the end of the day: have dinner with friends, go see a movie, hang out in the stores. It also means that you won’t have to cancel your session and have a forced off day if you are invited at the last minute.
I assume that this hour, between 7 and 8, if I do not go to the sport, I will not do anything and sleep instead. On the other hand, the same hour of sport between 7 and 8 p.m., I could make TAS of other things. So to choose …
4. Because when you finish your session, you have already accomplished something that 90% of people who are still sleeping cannot
It’s always gratifying to remember that you’re a little, wonderful and unique snowflake (this is a reference to the movie Fight Club, for connoisseurs.) So of course, do sports early on is painful and we don’t really want to start. Promise, then it works out, but the first few times, you kind of wonder what went through your mind. One thing to remember is that you made the right choice for yourself and your body. The people who who are still in their beds did not have this bravery and you must be congratulated! (without judging others for all that, each one does what he wants to his life, after all.)
5. Because it means BREAKFAST POST WORKOUT
And there you can indulge yourself. Why? Because your body is looking for nutrients to recover. He especially suuuper the plate for proteins, history to rebuild the muscles cleanly. You can take a protein shake (and I summarized this whole protein intake story right after sport here) but the best thing is to bring something to replenish all the reserves: a little carbohydrates, a little healthy lipids, and so-called proteins!
6. Because you will sleep better at night
The good thing about going to give your all in the morning is that your body has all day to “cool down” and recover from its emotions. Suddenly, in the evening, you are tired, and you sleep much better. When you exercise at night (and especially after eating, which I really don’t recommend), you are giving your body a signal to be awake and operational. So it’s not really ideal for falling asleep afterwards.
On the nutrition side too, that means you have to eat a lot to recover after sports. And having a substantial meal just before going to sleep is not necessarily optimal.
… But sometimes sport is better at night!
I have been training 5 days a week for 4 years now, and I must admit that there are advantages to doing a good workout in the evening, once in a while:
- In the gym, the atmosphere is better in the evening. And that’s a fact, if in the morning it requires courage and sacrifice to go there, it is is true for everyone. So the few people there are a bit wrong, like you, and it’s not the ultimate outburst either. We don’t go to the room to chat, but it’s easier to give your all when you’re surrounded by real positive energy. For having tested the gym classes in Paris (and surroundings) when I lived in France, this is especially true there!
- Group lessons are often .. in the evening. If you’re lucky enough to have a venue that offers them, or if you plan to sign up for activities, they will probably be in the evening.
- You release all the stress of the day . And it’s super useful in the event of an oppressive boss, depressing weather or printer problem. (It rhymes and it is COMPLETELY true.)
The important thing is to find a rhythm that suits YOU . We do not all have the same requirements, not all the same lifestyle and not all the same desires. The point is to make a schedule and stick to it, without comparing yourself to others.
So I can only encourage you to try the sport in the morning (for several weeks, eh, not just once, we don’t have time to make a habit otherwise!) and tell me what you think!