Feb 26 2013

SeniorFit Onboard ~ Sailing into our Senior Years


Squats on the bowsprit add an extra challenge…balance

As we count the years, which seem to be flying by faster than ever, we begin to notice ‘things’. We begin to notice sensations in our bodies that weren’t there before. We don’t spring out of bed like we used too, and getting onto and off of our vessels can sometimes be tricky.  We become painfully aware at how quickly we lose our strength after a few down days.

Staying active is especially important during this time of our lives. Here are a few tips for staying active as we age:

  • Do what you love. There is no sense in choosing an activity that we are not having fun doing…life is too short!
  • Listen to your body.  Your body is your teacher, listen; find your edge, that place where you know you are pushing yourself, but not too hard and back off just a bit, then enjoy.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. Being conscious of the movement of the boat (if exercising on board), the terrain (if on land) makes a big difference as we deal with changes in balance and strength.


    Keeping the core strong with
    Modified Boat Pose

  • Warm up and cool down before exercise Walking in place for a few minutes prior to your main workout and doing some yummy stretching after will help in the prevention of injury.
  • Drink plenty of fluids Water Water Water Water Water Water I can’t stress this enough!
  • Watch out for the weather Be conscious of extremes… as we age, we are more susceptible to both heat and cold. For many cruisers we will find ourselves in the tropics where heat can overcome a body very quickly.
  • Use the proper equipment  If you are biking, wear a helmet, use proper shoes for walking/jogging and a PFD that is fitted to your body for any on the water sports.
  • Be prepared to change activities  Again, listen to your body. If you are finding that your chosen activity is causing stress on any part of your body, switch it up.
  • Cross train Engaging in several different activities throughout the week, we use different muscles and keep our bodies from overusing any one set of muscles. Plus this is a great way to keep boredom at bay!

To stay fit on your boat or off, focus on these types of exercises:

  • Flexibility  Stretching and flexing not only lengthens the muscles, but helps to keep the joints lubricated and free moving. Yoga is a great way to incorporate this into your daily routines. If you are new to yoga or need inspiration on how to adapt your practice to your vessel, try my book Yoga OnboardTM.
  • Strengthening  These exercises can either be done using ones own body weight, bands or external weights (even our grocery bags will do) Pay attention to form to avoid injury and try to include this twice a week for 30 minutes
  • Aerobic  Any activity that gets the heart pumping but still allows you to carry on a normal conversation is aerobic. Twenty minutes 3-5 times a week will keep that ticker ticking.

Jed & Page aboard their former boat sv Spellbound

Although the idea of sitting in the cockpit and reading that book is inviting, let that be your reward for a good sweat and stretch!

Stay fit, with SeniorFit OnboardTM (coming soon)






Peace, Love, Laughter & Pirate Yogis!

Kim Hess

SV Ave de Paso

Florida Keys


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