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Old 03-09-2008, 17:25   #1
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Cruisers and being healthy

Almost everything I read indicates that cruisers are healthier than the general population. Do they (cruisers) have any way of proving that?

Do they “just live with it” more than the general population?

I want to try it (cruising) and have been wondering if I will be healthier for it.

It has been said that the cruiser ends up eating a more healthy diet or is that because the type of person that cruises does that anyway?

Is a hard physical life on the water one that is inherently healthier?

Hard physical lives are all known from the past and we live longer now than at any time in the past while living easier lives.

Modern innovations/inventions have protected modern man from many natural exposures that can shorten ones life. Cruising re-exposes one to many natural phenomena not experienced in the day-to-day existence of a “protected” work place and home. Is one a trade off of the other resulting in the same “level of health” given the same individual?

To say cruising is more stress free is something I do not necessarily believe to be true. Could it be that the stress is just of a different type, thus having less of an impact on our level of health?

Friends are now sick after being visited by children and grandchildren from out of state. Could it be that if they were cruisers they would pick up illnesses easily as they went from place to place?

Is the type of person that chooses the cruising lifestyle just simply the type of person whom is genetically healthier than the general population?

Up to 3rd hand information I think would be useful. After that I am not really interested…………but this is the internet still.

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Old 04-09-2008, 03:25   #2
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I've asked the same question myself. Cruising by itself is not necessarily conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Depending on the sailor, of course, there seems to be an over-adequate abundance of opportunities for alcohol consumption. For the most part, physical activity is minimal except during the occassional storm! Diet can be very healthy depending on the locale and personal preferences. I think overall that to make the cruising life truly healthy, a sailor needs to work at it just like on land. I don't think a healthy body comes about by accident, but rather by discipline and thoughtful choices.

If nothing else, the cruising lifestyle should at least make you WANT to be healthy so you can truly enjoy yourself doing such a fulfilling activity!


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Old 04-09-2008, 03:43   #3
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I truly agree with Steve, I worked for the airlines for many years and I made a personal decision of being healthy, it was hard to avoid free plane and crew food as well as airport food all the time but by being disciplined this was achieved. All of my former fellow coworkers admit that I look at least 10 years younger than they do, the reason? Thoughtful choices. I think that the very same reasoning can be applied to sailing in order to achieve a healthy state of body and mind.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:20   #4
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You tend to bring your lifestyle along with you until you make the effort to change it. The change does not have to be for the better. Many lifestyle changes can be for the worse.

Having a healthy lifestyle does not convey total health either. Friends just returned from South America after 7 years. They spent the better part of 6 months going to doctors. They didn't have anything wrong that was cruising related. They had various problems that they would have had anyway and had treatment they would not have delayed this long if they did not cruise. They both also had weight problems. They had a great time and will probably head back out after a while.

You can live healthy anywhere and it is always a good choice to do healthy things. Being on a boat does not covey some added advantage that makes you immune to something nor will it cure your current health problems or make your lifestyle better. Only you can do that. If it motivates you to do more healthy things then motivation is a method that works. So indirectly it could make you a healthier person.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:33   #5
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Healthwise, long term cruising away from the US does have a tendency to reduce acess to munchies and Big Macs and it is hard to graze a top loading fridge but if you substitute beer you don't get much improvement.
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:22   #6
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While there may be some, I personally know no fat sailors and, virtually, no thin power-boaters.

Hard work, fresh air (away from the air pollution normally found in metropolitan areas), healthy food—frequently with more fruits, vegetables and fish than found in a “normal” (i.e. landside) diet, moderate alcohol consumption, and good sleep—early to bed and early to rise—seems to keep the sailors we know in good health and young for their age. One thing we have noticed is that a relatively limited number of newer cruisers, or weekenders, over indulge in alcohol—wine, beer, Rum or what have you. That can easily lead to problems—ruined trips, marriages, et al. We have had people decline invitations to travel with us as we have a rule that there is only limited alcohol consumption permitted while the yacht is under way. Usually only a can of beer or glass of wine as a “Sundowner” before dinner. We simply believe that alcohol and a wake are not a safe mix.


s/v HyLyte

"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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