Every morning somewhere in Africa, a gazelle wakes up and knows it must outrun the cheetah or it will be killed. Every morning somewhere in Africa, the cheetah wakes up and knows it must run faster than the gazelle or it will starve.
Last week, I made the same mistake that I’ve been working on for decades, so you’d think I’d learn by now. I thought I could squeeze my workout in the afternoon amongst a busy Saturday filled with family fun. Not only did I fail to run that day, I was irritable in the afternoon as the sun began to set and hadn’t even put my shoes on.
All it took was a spilled coffee on some carpet by one of my clumsy kids to way over-embellish the effort needed to clean it up. It cost me my workout window but I shouldn’t have repeated the same mistake that I’ve working on improving over decades.
It took me many years to develop a habit of not only just waking up to workout but also the mental “wake up” to get moving fast for a strong run, bike, swim, or strength session.
There’s a consistency element which is critical, but I’ll add in some scientific benefits. The University of California, Irvine just released their April 2019 study that shows morning is the best time to workout.
You can read the dense summary here but here’s my deciphered brief:
Your cells have oscillating measures from oxygen consumption to fuel (i.e., carbohydrate) use to what you care about, actual energy production. The UC Irvine studied showed the time of day that magnified your cell’s production cycle was actually morning.
Moral of the stories: It doesn’t matter who you are. When the sun comes up, you’d better get moving.
Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen