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Old 07-26-2009, 10:10 PM   #1
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assuming you spend more time on the water than on land, how do you keep in shape? i run and workout everytday and was just thinking what in the world would i do if i was on a boat and couldnt exercise? i suppose i could manufacture a strength workout, but how would you keep up cardiovascular? can you jump out and swim in the middle of the ocean anywhere? that seems to be the only option.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:35 PM   #2
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Also see this thread: http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/ind...showtopic=3034
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:34 PM   #3
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assuming you spend more time on the water than on land, how do you keep in shape? i run and workout everytday and was just thinking what in the world would i do if i was on a boat and couldnt exercise? i suppose i could manufacture a strength workout, but how would you keep up cardiovascular? can you jump out and swim in the middle of the ocean anywhere? that seems to be the only option.
It's easy enough to get in some good hiking, biking, or a run ashore where ever you might be.

In addition to the things mentioned in the other post that Lighthouse linked to, and in addition to jumping in the ocean for a swim , the following:

Not all time is spent passage making--most folks spend a lot of time at anchor. As such, you can choose to row your boat's tender to-and-from shore rather than using an engine (I am the rower in the family, btw, as this is one of my ways to work out--hubby enjoys the "free ride" he gets in the tender); You can also row around the area where you are anchored--not going anywhere but just getting a little workout while seeing the sights.

If your boat is large enough, and you feel you're really not getting an adequate work out from sailing, rowing, hauling fuel, groceries, and water, and all things related to boat maintenance (hanging upside down in an engine compartment for several hours can take a surprising level of energy and all the muscles keeping you in place do get quite a workout ), then you may find yourself devising a "retro" aerobics routine to get 30 to 60 minutes of cardio in each day. I doubt you'll find the need, though.

The activities aboard are more challenging than the same activities on shore--everything from taking a shower to preparing dinner takes a little more physical effort. It is mostly keeping one's balance and lifting things while the boat is in motion.

Do you have a boat now? If so, do you take weekend or longer trips? What have your experiences been while aboard? On our smaller 30 ft boat, I did feel cramped and unable to "move" about. Not so with our larger 54 ft boat--it is a flush deck with lots of room on deck for activities.

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Old 07-27-2009, 01:01 PM   #4
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as you may or may not have noticed the other thread was started by me about 2 years ago... well 2 years later I've pretty much got this one sussed... redbopeep has called one of m favorite ways to stay fit at anchor... row, I make it a point to anchor out further than I need to (which is usually safer anyhow as there are fewer boats) and row ashore, inclouding rowing to get water and fuel which means lifting/moving 5 gallon jerry cans around and then rowing with their extra weight in the boat... in addition to this and the required walking that I do now that I don't have a car I do in fact have a workout routine on boat... pull-ups, and dips in the companion way, push-ups across the cockpit, crunches on deck... I do these 4 things in a circuit all max sets one after the other as fast as possible... trust me it's plenty of cardio... and you get lots of abb work in as you will probably have to pick up your knees to get full range of motion in the pullups (or at least I do, I'm 6'2") this was actually my workout routine before I started living on a boat and it has translated fairly well...

the only short coming of this workout as I see it is the narrow grip it forces one to use when doing pull-ups... I like to use a broad grip so that it works the lats ( i get plenty of bicep work rowing).. for this I have ordered a pair of playground trapeze rings which I will hang from the rigging for my workouts so that I can have a free swinging breadth of grip and make the pullups a bit more challenging...

the next thing I'm thinking about adding if I can figure out the details is a punching bag... it would of course have to be an air bag but if I can secure the botton on deck to one of my D rings and the top with halyard it would certainly be worth it to me to be able to add a boxing workout...

good luck.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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Now you've gone and done it atavist! Here I was, all proud of myself for rowing, et al, and you've gone and described a "real" workout routine for the boat

Yea, hubby and I exhaust ourselves on a daily basis just doing all our basic boat stuff around here. Want weight lifting--just haul around some of the stuff we continue to install--example, the huge solid bronze winches. Want cardio--just run up and down the ratlines keeping an eye out for kelp beds while motoring...Want pull ups...just use the climbing gear to climb the mast again (seems the weather station on the main mast isn't working and needs to go back to the vendor...) It goes on and on. When I clean the decks there's nothing like hauling around one of our anchors (all around 100#) on deck without messing up the deck to help out with one's need to lift weights.

Oh, and the weekly scrubbing of the boat above the waterline (from the tender) adds a whole new dimension to things you can do to work out your arms while trying to improve your balance all at once.

Really, if anyone on a boat feels they're not getting enough of a workout--just start doing everything the old-fashioned way and there's your workout!
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:33 AM   #6
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well unlike you guys i'm not curently rebuilding my boat, so not quite as much work to actually do on my old girl...

thats my at anchor routine, to get back to the original question. Underway. You don't really need a routine underway... just walking and moving takes enough energy/strength to maintain whatever you got and not gain weight....

speaking of anchors... I never thought of that... anchor curls... mine are only 35lbs so that's perfect.... I'm going to have to start a kettle bell-anchor routine... I might do that on shore though... dropping even just a 35lbs anchor on the deck throwing it around would not be good for my glass decks
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:17 AM   #7
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assuming you spend more time on the water than on land, how do you keep in shape? i run and workout everytday and was just thinking what in the world would i do if i was on a boat and couldnt exercise? i suppose i could manufacture a strength workout, but how would you keep up cardiovascular? can you jump out and swim in the middle of the ocean anywhere? that seems to be the only option.
I think the standard percentages for full time cruisers is 10% at sea/underway and 90% of the time at anchor someplace nice. So exercising and staying fit is not a question - underway you do not have much choice as you are grinding winches, trimming sails and strengthening your arms just "hanging on" for dear life. Not to mention adrenaline rushes caused by unlit tugs and barges, etc. or jumping whales and dolphins.

At anchor there are all the activities from hauling garbage to shore, lugging jerrycans of fuel, and backpacking 20 lbs of food, beer, booze, while walking 10 nm to the stores and back. Then balance training by transferring all the above from dinghy to boat deck. On average I would suggest cruisers are above average on staying fit because we really don't have much choice in the matter. We do all the "ordinary" parts of living "by hand" without cars, airconditioning, elevators, and all the other "labor-saving" devices found in land living.
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:57 PM   #8
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another idea on boat exercises is pilates... I've never done it but would like to if I can find someone to loan me the dvd's for a bit to get the workouts down... sort of in line with strength type yoga stuff.. definitely works... I have a good daily stretch routine but no real stretching strengh training routine....

and then of course there are the fitness bands... there are lots of things on a boat to wrap them around.. .the mast for rows, a halyard for pull-downs if you can't do pull-ups... your own feet for curls...

I definitely agree most cruisers are "above average" on fitness... I just can't help but want to workout 4-6 days a week when sitting at anchor in addition to all the normal daily grind, it's a lifestyle engrained from years in the Marines... honestly it's gotten to the point where if I don't I start to get lethargic and achy all over.... guess I'm a bit of an endorphin junky...
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:09 AM   #9
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hi, all good ideas, i usually carry an excercise band with me whenever i travel, and im sure i can manufacture a pull-up bar and find room for sit-ups and push-ups. but i guess i should have asked more specifically about cardiovascular health. i run 10-20 km a day, i cant come up with anything on a boat that would even come close to that. and i know that if i took even a couple weeks off, i would lose a lot of my stamina. i guess its just something i would have to trade if i wanted to go on a long cruise.

to answer the first post, i dont have a boat, i have lived on a 39 foot yacht for a very short time in the past, and even though thats a good size it would still have been difficult to find room to excercise.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:23 AM   #10
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My fitness routine includes Aquafit classes at the local pool. I use some of these when cruising if the water isn't too cold. Wednesday I went to the pool for the evening class. The instructor tried something new to us, Water Jogging. We worn float (ski) belts and hooked a bungee cord through the back. We used the bungee to attach ourselves to the swim buoy line that separates the lanes. We did a variety of jogging type exercises. Some of us add arms. This was all done in the deep end. It was great. A much harder workout than even the advanced aquafit classes. I had a car accident almost 5 years ago that damaged my right leg and I can no longer do anything that causes stress to my knee or ankle including long walks. I'm sure that you could rig something up. Of course it wouldn't be wise while passage making.

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:28 AM   #11
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hi for the last three years i have been living in china ,not long after arriving i started doing ban-duan jen simple to do no equipment needed it is kung fu excersises created many years ago at wu dang shan mountain in china,the home of martial arts.very easy to do takes about 1 hour per session we do 2 hours.it will work out all your body no stress relaxing and easy.if anyone would like the mp3 download send your email we will send you how to and the music .i have never been fitter in my life works out all your body ,for both sexes any age so if you would like to give it a go no charge no gimmicks so feel free to try.
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