It’s day 2 of a windy regatta series, the alarm goes off in the morning, you reach over to turn it off and your body talks to you. In your younger days, it’s an awareness that you had a really good workout the day before. But as you get older, the previous day’s effect feels more like a punishment. You realize that you aren’t young any more and you begin to wonder how many more years you can keep this up. You decide to get in better shape for next time or maybe you start to accept that age might be catching up with you.
Since my late 30s, I’ve been waking up on day 2 feeling like the older sailor. Doug, however, at 61, wakes up feeling like the younger sailor. So, what’s the difference? No question, he has good genes as his parents are still alive and his father has outlived my mother by 30 years and counting. But, I’m not exactly in bad shape, so why do I wake up feeling older than him and he wakes up feeling much younger than me?
Back some 20 years ago, Doug began doing one very simple thing just before hitting the water and he does it with religious consistency - he stretches. He’s noted over the years that virtually no one else does this. It hardly seems like this could make the difference but it does give new meaning to phrase 'an ounce of prevention.’
In his 30s and 40s Doug had a stiff back and pulled muscles like everyone else and he was actually told in his 20s that he needed back surgery (which he never had). His stretching routine takes less than 5 minutes and the only time Doug feels his age has been on the rare occasion when he didn't stretch. He calls it cheap insurance.
So, do you want to feel older or younger when you wake up? The difference may very well be 5 minutes.