Fitness When Sailing

Fitness when sailing … yes I whole heartedly agree that it’s necessary! 

Mention exercise … and my body squirms!

What happens when you've cast off from the marina, main sails are hoisted, furled Genoa is set and the auto helms on track. You sit back for a leisurely and enjoyable sail.

Other than a change of sails or trimming them and normal boat work most sailors do not give a second thought to keeping fit through exercise.  

Unless of course you are a racing sailor and tweaking those sails with each puff of wind. 

So how do you keep fit and healthy on-board a yacht especially on long voyages?

Exercise is not really on your mind?

But what about all that clambering up and down stairs, manoeuvring and balancing on a tilting constantly moving deck, trimming sails, dragging a dingy up a sandy beach, doesn’t that count as exercise?

I would like to think so!! I hope it gives us a bit of isometric toning and flexibility, generally fitness when sailing.

As we get older ... and let’s face it when you look around at the sailing clubs these days a large percentage of sailors are over 50’s … there’s all the more reason for looking after our health, avoiding fatigue and trying to keep fit! 

Tips on Fitness when Sailing!

  • When ashore and we need to provision, ‘foot power’ is the norm, finding the shopping center and then getting the supplies back to the boat can take a few hours of walking and lugging heavy loads. If we have to get it into a dingy and then aboard that takes even more energy.
  • Exploring a new destination, maybe tropical islands, never seems like exercise as you walk pristine beaches, hiking lush mountains for amazing views to take yet another photo for those back home, and swimming in waterholes with cascading waterfalls.
  • Rowing ashore at times or better still kayaking around a bay while at anchor would be great for the upper body.
  • I have an inflatable wind surfer that if I could get the hang of it I’m sure would be an excellent way of keeping fit afloat.
  • Snorkelling and Scuba Diving around the Great Barrier Reef where I live is not just good exercise, but is so amazing with technicolour coral and a huge variety of fish, time just flies when you’re in the water. Even in stinger season, we are not put off and wear specially designed stinger suits. 
  • Yoga and Pilates can be practiced to keep up your levels of fitness.  Yoga is good for body and soul and could be practised on a small area of the deck.  There are books and DVD’s, or get out your computer and there are whole classes on You Tube, adapt these fitness regimes into the space you have on your yacht.

Why not learn how to be your own personal trainer and what travel workout equipment you would need that would fit in with your cruising lifestyle so you can enjoy fitness when sailing.

And hand in hand with great health is to keep on keeping on with what we love! And enough money to enjoy it all! What we all desire is a life of abundance, isn't it?

For me none of these seem like that dreaded word ...exercise! When you are feeling fit and energized ... you look great ... 

It beats sweating it out in an aerobics class, huffing and puffing and showing evidence of my fitness level or lack of it! How can you compare being on a treadmill and gazing at a full length mirror reflecting your not too in shape bod bouncing around to a disco beat?

Being in the great outdoors ... on a yacht or a destination has to be the best gym in the world ..... 'God's Gym!'

Fitness when sailing can be fun .... so what about the whole package … what about your skin … your hair … dare I say …..beauty afloat




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