Blue Turtle Cruising

Ship shape – how to stay in shape while living on a boat

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Those who know me well, know that fitness has been a lifetime passion for me. Growing up participating in gymnastics and sports had a great impact on me and I have always loved a great sweaty workout. In fact, if I go too many days without some type of exercise I get antsy probably a little difficult to deal with. I admit, I might be a little more motivated than the average person, but there’s plenty of options out there for folks wanting to stay in shape while cruising, RVing or traveling in general.

When we moved aboard almost 8 years ago I decided I was going to have to try to come up with some creative ideas for staying in shape when not near land or a gym. I’ve done several boat workouts inside the main salon while underway cruising to the Dry Tortugas. Basically using body weight exercises and incorporating a medicine ball and kettle bell you can actually get a pretty great workout. Do the workout while anchored or underway and you get added resistance and balance/stability training.

Since Randy and I have been docked in a marina, we’ve been going to our local Orange Theory which is a gym that guides you through workouts based on heart rate readings. It’s basically interval training that focuses on power, strength and endurance using treadmills, rowers and weights. It’s actually the best workout I’ve ever had and we have really loved going the last couple of years. For more info on Orange Theory Fitness visit their website.

Recently, with the whole Coronavirus pandemic going on, we’ve decided to get off the dock and stay off the dock as long as our provisions last. Since our gym has been closed like all gyms across the state we’ve gone back to basics in our workouts. We’ve been trying to get to shore 2-3 days a week for a 2 or 3 mile run and back on the boat we’ve been doing strength exercises using bodyweight (sit ups, pushups, etc) or using the TRX suspension trainer. About a year into living aboard I decided to get a TRX.  I was familiar with them from the gym I belonged to before moving aboard so I just had to figure out where I could attach it. Turns out a mast is a perfect place for a TRX whether on a trawler or a sailboat.

The great thing about the TRX is that you can get a fully body workout (arms, back, core, legs, etc) from a simple piece of equipment. It also doesn’t weigh a lot like most exercise equipment and it folds down into a small mesh bag. Simple, small and portable. It really is one of the best pieces of equipment you can have for traveling, boating or tiny living. This morning I had Randy video the exercises we did after our 2 mile run. Don’t laugh…it’s probably really cheesy and I’m no personal trainer (although I used to be 20 years ago but that’s another story…). I just want to demonstrate that there are ways to get into and stay in shape while cruising. The video shows only a few of the exercises you can do with the TRX. There are so many more exercises and variations of these exercises, you just need to google them to find them.  Hope you enjoy and if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.

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