Note to readers: Morning Stars is a series of interviews with achievers across fields about their morning routine and how they get ready for the day ahead. Mornings bring optimism and a fresh start. And how we spend them sets the tone for the day.
David Beckham is one of the most successful players and brands in football history. Practicing his legendary freekicks and crosses for hours, the former England and Manchester United midfielder blended work ethic with glamour. You don’t win 19 trophies, including the Champions League and six Premier Leagues, with just a pretty haircut and a pop star wife (Victoria Beckham). The 45-year-old father of four retired in 2013. But fitness is still important to him, as he shared during the Sehat Ka Rakshakaran Youtube event organised by Tata AIA on September 6. In this exclusive interview with Moneycontrol, Beckham talks about his morning routine, and says he often checks his schedule a week in advance to stay on top of things.
How many hours of sleep do you need? How do you like to start your day?
I don’t always get as much sleep as I would like to. But I am always aiming to get one more hour in because I know that getting enough sleep is important. I was lucky to meet Professor Michael Chee (Michael Chee Wei Liang, a doctor and sleep and cognition expert) last year, thanks to my partnership with AIA, and he educated me on the importance of sleep and shared some great tips on how to maximise and improve it, like getting into a good bedtime routine.
With children returning to school this week here in the UK, we are back in our usual morning routine of getting the kids up and ready for school, eating a healthy breakfast together and then doing the school run.
Do you need tea or coffee right away?
Yes I like to have a coffee to start the day, alongside a healthy breakfast. I make sure I drink lots of water too.
What kind of exercises do you do in the morning?
I like exercising most days, for me it helps to start my day right. I enjoy spin classes and being in the gym. I also love getting outside in the fresh air with the kids – we enjoy walking to school and have even run before! And during lockdown, we liked to get out every day for long walks with our dogs.
What's a must-have component/ nutrient in your breakfast? If there was just one thing you could have in the morning on a busy day, what would it be?
Breakfast is so important to set you up in the right way for the day ahead. I like to lead by example and have a healthy breakfast with my kids – I often have eggs or keep it simple with cereal or porridge.
Do you check your schedule for the day in the morning? Do you maintain a list of daily tasks?
Absolutely, I’m very detail orientated. So I make sure I know what’s in my schedule. In fact, most of the time as a real planner, I look at my diary at least a week in advance to see what’s coming up. As you can imagine, as a businessman and father of four, there is lots going on so it’s really important to know so I can prepare anything I need to in advance.
What or who brightens up your morning?
That’s easy – definitely my kids. I love getting them ready for school, preparing them a snack for mid-morning break and walking to school together when we can.
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Digressing a bit, what does 'Bend it Like Beckham' mean for you all these years later? Have you given aloo gobi (Indian style potato and cauliflower), a dish often mentioned in the film, a shot?
I think my family and I have probably watched that film more than anyone else! It was such an honour to have a film like that named after me. Of course, one of my favourite things to do is put my football boots back on and have a kickabout in the garden with the kids, to show them that I’ve still got it and can teach them a thing or two!
I’m a real foodie and I love Indian food. I can’t wait until I can travel to India and try even more regional dishes – I’m sure that the food in India is very different and even better than how we have it in London so I can’t wait to try.