Bringing the Gym to the Boat
We know that eating healthily, excercise and relaxation can all help with our physical and mental wellbeing, but how do we bring that on-board?
Working Smart in the Space you have
It's easy to keep fit by going to the gym or having a run in the park, but is it really that easy to do on boat..? We think it is, whatever space you have on-board or however active your type of boating already is. We hope you'll find a couple of things below that will help keep you healthy, and happy when you're on the water.
On Your Marks, Get Set, Go...
Yoga Sequences. Yoga is great for the body, mind and soul. The "Hatha" Yoga sequence is easy for beginners but still active enough to give you a full work out. It's based on simple "Held" postures which can be developed into more challenging "Holds" over time. The great thing with Yoga is that you only need yourself.
Resistant Band Training. Keeping muscles toned on-board is all about working with limited space and equipment. Resitant Band Training only requires you, and an oversized elastic band (not literally). The bands can be used in a variety of ways and help you work on major muscle groups using your bodies own resistance levels.
Clean Excercise. We all have to clean our boats, so why not keep fit at the same time? Alternate your cleaning between the left and right arm, as this will help to balance the exertion your muscle groups experience. Instead of kneeling when you're cleaning at a low level, adopt a squat position to give your legs and "derriere" a work out of their own. An "inconvenient" cleaning regime that forces you to walk from one side of the boat to the other, as many times as possible, may sound strange but it will help keep you on the move.
Tai Chi. Originating in the 13th Century, this is one of the oldest developed excercise programmes. It's acutally a martial art, so works well for budding "Ninja Warrior" Boaters. Focusing on balance, posture, mobility and muscle strength, this low impact excercise works with slow structured movements and requires no equipment.
Step Training. Many boats already have steps on-board. Stepping up and down in a sequence of 10-20 steps, then marching on the spot for 30 secs before repeating, gives you both cardio and muscle work outs. For boats where head height is limited, sturdy, foldable stools can be used on deck or the pontoon and tuck away flat when you've finished.
Brain Train. To maintain a healthy body we also need a healthy mind. The Eastern art of "Meditation" or the more recent Western alternative of "Mindfulness" are great ways to acheive this. There are instructional Apps you can download to help you relax your body and mind, lower blood pressure and release "feel good" neuro receptors into your body.
Pilates. Developed by Joseph Pilates this excercise is about stamina, control and balance. It's basically a slow form of gymnastics which is perfect for improving posture, mobility, core strength and flexibility. It's easy for beginners and the level of difficulty can be increased over time.
Create your Own. Have a look at your environment and see what you could use around you. Towpaths and benches, or seating in Marinas can all give you a platform for a variety of excerises. Basic excercises such as leg squats, sit ups and press ups when sequenced over 3 sets in repetitions of 10 always work well. If you attend a gym on dry land, have a think what excercises you could adapt to your boating environment.
21st Century Fitness. Our fitness levels can now be monitored daily, by using a smart phone or wrist band. Step Counters and fitness wristbands (fit-bits) will let you know the number of steps you take each day; they can also monitor your heart rate and sleeping patterns. Awareness is a key driver in the motivation to keep fit and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
Have we just taken away the excuse?
Every little counts, so we can't wait to see you bending and stretching over the Marina bench, or meditating on-deck with a bowl of salad..!