“BELIEVE YOU CAN AND YOU’RE HALFWAY THERE!”
Today we are joined by personal trainer Laura, one half of the awesome duo at Castaway Fitness. These two have been offering some fantastic fitness and nutrition advice to those in the superyacht industry (and beyond!) all summer. Here’s what she has to say on how crew can keep fit…
Keeping fit and healthy whilst working onboard a yacht as crew can be a challenge, but it’s vital to stay mentally and physically strong in such a demanding, crazy industry that most people will never understand! We are so lucky to be able to travel to some of the most stunning places in the world but it can be difficult being at sea for long periods of time with no access to a gym, or the option of nipping ashore for a quick jog along the dock.
It’s so easy to slip into the ‘yachtie scene’ while in port; lots of us choose the option to go drinking and partying instead of looking after our health! We work long hours and the space we have available is often limited, unless you’re lucky enough to have a crew gym (then you have no excuses!).
If you can just commit to short bursts of exercise per day it will keep you more focused, positive, and create a happier atmosphere onboard. I often envy the guys who are outside in the sun getting a workout all day heaving lines, doing wash downs and scrubbing the teak! The reality is they finish the season looking buff and tanned but sometimes us poor stewardesses end up looking pale and a few pounds heavier! Well this doesn’t always have to be the case…
“IF I DON’T EXERCISE I END UP FEELING DOWN AND DEMOTIVATED.”
Having worked as a personal trainer on land and at sea I know how tough it can be to find that motivation each day (especially when you’re on charter), as it can be a workout in itself to just drag your aching body out of bed in the morning.
I know how it makes me feel if I don’t exercise! I end up feeling down and demotivated, so I make sure I use my breaks to do a quick workout on the foredeck most days and maximise the little space I have available. For cardio, I like to do mainly body weighted exercises that don’t require much space including burpees, plyo lunges, high knees, squat thrusts and jumping squats. Just by doing three sets of 15 of these exercises in a day will take no more than 30 minutes but you’ll notice the difference.
I always join a new boat with my favourite pieces of exercise equipment including my boxing gloves and pads, skipping rope, ab wheel and resistance bands. With just these few small pieces of equipment that fit easily in your suitcase you can do a whole body workout, burn fat and tone your muscles.
I love to involve as many of the crew as possible by setting up circuit training or setting weekly challenges which we keep a record of in the crew mess to drum up some positive competition which is great for team building.
If you don’t feel comfortable exercising outside then there’s always that small floor space in your cabin you can use by doing dips off the bottom bunk to target your triceps, press ups to work the chest and shoulders, sit-ups for those flat abs, and squats for that round pert bikini bootie (I like to do my squats in the laundry whilst ironing!). There are always options- you just have to get creative and make it fun!
Nutrition also plays a massive part whilst onboard and this is the bit that drives me crazy, so don’t get me started I could go on all day! The amount of junk food that is consumed on some yachts is obscene. Not only is it affecting our weight, but it’s used as comfort food when people are tired and stressed which has zero benefit for the mind or body. For me a little in moderation is great, but the copious packets of biscuits and chocolate bars, not to mention the tub loads of Haribo’s are not necessary. I would hate to think what the annual cost is to the yacht. When you eat healthily you’re more likely to have the energy to exercise, the two go hand in hand.
We need to all stick together and support each other in staying fit, healthy, and most importantly, happy onboard. I think if Captains and Owners want the best out of their crew mentally and physically, that they should take more responsibility in keeping their crew fit and healthy. It also helps to create a team spirit onboard.
There should be more emphasis on giving crew the time to workout and have healthy nutritious meals and snacks freely available onboard. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate as much as the next person but at home I wouldn’t have access to this amount everyday! I don’t like the way it’s almost taken for granted, and unfortunately people can become greedy.
So guys get out there and show all the others what you’ve got and you’ll soon have a following and the respect of your crew! But most importantly, do it for yourself you’ll feel happier, healthier, fitter and have the body you’ve always wanted by the end of the season. It’s tough but every little counts, stay focused and you’ll reap the rewards!
Who ever said yachting was easy!!!!
Director & Founder – Gym Marine Yachts & Interiors.
I began my career onboard superyachts working for some of the world’s most discerning clients, finding health & fitness to be a common passion amongst all of them. Starting Gym Marine at 24 has been my proudest achievement yet, and today we are striving to become world leaders in our field.