Welcome to CF! Have you knowledge of "Pilates" as an exercise method?
The difficulties of getting proper exercise while onboard is an issue for us as well. My husband and I are very active and feel that good health
is essential to a long healthy life: regular exercise is mandatory! While searching for a method to be used onboard - we discovered Pilates.
The founder Joseph Pilates, developed this method during WWI. He worked to help confined wounded soldiers. His principles grew and expanded over time and continues today. It to be used regularly in rehab settings and growing in popularity in the exercise/health arena. The benefits go way beyond rehab and can be suited to any age, fitness level, and difficulty level.
Pilates compliments sailors/boaters physique because it focuses on strengthening the "powerhouse" or "core" (our torso) with controlled movements and balance and can be accomplished using minimal equipment
. It will increase flexibility, release tension in tired fatigued muscles (possibly my favorite aspect), while strengthening the muscles and body overall. Being ashore while preparing for your future departure offers the opportunity of investigating and training with a professional to assist in finding what will suit your needs best particularly while onboard. (Trainers will come to your boat to assess the environment
and assist in developing a workable routine.)
Pilates requires minimal equipment
that's easily stored, of minimal weight, not mechanical (no grease/oil), and non-corrosive (unless you incorporate industrial size springs which are, in fact, very effective.)
Basic pieces: A mat (a good workout can be had with this alone) and instructions (book, video).
Added difficulty: A ring (wt 2 lbs.), a "Pilates Stick" (wt 5 lbs.), or industrial springs with straps (or line - not rubber bands as they will fatigue and could break while in use, possibly causing harm).
A studio setting uses equipment (a reformer, a cadillac, a tower, etc.) which expedites the results and helps perfect form. Although mat work often times doesn't appear to be strenuous - when executed properly it is very focused and difficult. Muscles will tone, strengthen, and stretch similarly to those of a professional dancer.
(I often times feel as if I've had a massage after completing a 90 minute workout with a trainer in a studio!)
For a quick intro "Youtube" offers videos giving better explanations than I'm able to articulate. A link showing a basic intro for The Pilates Stick is: youtube.com/watch?=jlu_tp0ro3A&NR=1 (hope the link works - It's five min clip). A studio I used while visiting GA also has a clip: www. BodyVisionStudio.com.
As a three year devotee I continue to perfect what can be done onboard and currently attempting to utilize the "Pilates Stick" ( recommended by a trainer to assist while traveling ). The first time I attempted a mat workout on the deck
, we had a partly clouded sky, a light breeze blowing, and we were anchored off a pretty island: a larger than expected wave hit the boat rolling her to starboard while I was in a "teaser" position (both feet and both hands held forward and high in the air toward the bow and I just rolled over like a crazy shaped ball into an opened hatch
and burst into laughter. It felt absurd but I kept my form in spite of loosing the support to my bum, LOL! (a "missed" comical video clip!) My u-shaped galley
offers a perfect setting to counter that rolling business and numerous positions (poses) can be managed without fear. (smiling)
Hope this is of help and wish you the best in your preparations and successful move to a cruising