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Keep Fit On Board

Keep Fit On Board

Ever wondered how boat skippers keep themselves fit and fabulous while at the helm? Professional marine crew Di Thompson provides these tips with demonstration photos of Richard Hughes – MV Aki.

There are many of us who are simply keen on the flexion of the arms while having a beer at the bar. But now that summer welcomes a busy boating season, let us have a look at simple ways to keep our bodies moving, blood circulating and creating more energy to stay drink-fit, fighting-fit or even armchair-fit, if this is your style.

BREATHING

It is always good to begin with the breath. Deep full breathing is an exercise in itself. For ten minutes of focused breath-work first thing in the morning, you can receive a burst of energy to kick-start your heart and lungs getting them working together to nourish every cell in the body. The action of the inhalation provides a subtle massage for the spine and internal organs, with the exhale allowing a complete relaxation response for the mind. Also, the simple action of raising and lowering your shoulders with the breath, will release any stored tension that may have accumulated during your working week.

 

ARM EXERCISES

Arm circles, utilising the full range of motion by extending the arms out wide and moving them both ways, keep the shoulders from hunching over and shortening the chest muscles, which is an easy habit to get into if you are at the helm for long periods of time.

yoga1 ARM EXTENSIONS       yoga2  ARM STRETCH

LEG EXERCISES

Balancing knee lifts is a simple fitness tip with dual action of keeping your hips mobilised and at the same time working on your balance. Make it easy for yourself by holding onto a rail with one hand and working the opposite leg.

Add some ankle rotations and toe flexion for circulation and flexibility. Do this especially if you find you spend most of the time standing while under way to prevent tired and sore feet.

Squats are also good for the legs, hips and core muscles. Just remember to hold your navel centre in and breathe out on the squat down.

yoga3 KNEE FLEXION            yoga4 ANKLE ROTATION

CORE EXERCISES

If you have the deck space why not hit the floor for a few rounds of push-ups, sit-ups and side planks? You will burn fat, tone muscle and increase your energy all at the same time.

Squeeze these fitness tips into the time it takes for your boat engines to warm up, and you will be on top of your game in no time.

yoga5  SIT UPS                        yoga6  PUSH UPS

 

About Di  –  While working as crew on board superyachts from 1994 until 2008, Di found that a basic fitness routine of swimming, stretching and paddling passive water craft provided the essential benefits of balancing out the work and play. Each of these exercises has specific, yet similar bio-mechanics and are relaxing and energising in equal measures. Di is Austswim and Swim Australia Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety. A Level 1 ASI SUP (Stand Up Paddle) Instructor, a Level 1 MHY Yoga Teacher and Santosha SUP Yoga Instructor.

The information provided are soley those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent those of Boat Gold Coast Magazine. These tip serve as a guide to establishing your own workout with professional advice from a registered personal trainer or other professional healthcare provider. 

 

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