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How Sailing Can Seriously Improve Your Health



There can be few hobbies that are as rewarding as sailing, and even if you’ve never taken the plunge before, there are plenty of opportunities to hire a craft and a crew to enable you to experience one of the most beautiful modes of transport ever invented.

Relaxation, exercise, and the natural world are all evident in abundance, and you often won’t notice that you’ve developed muscles, lost weight, and tanned your skin until days into your holiday. I made my very first sailing trip with my parents when I was a teenager, and I’ve never looked back. These days I have a family of my own, and I can’t wait to get the kids out onto the water to develop their confidence and improve their lifestyle.

Sailing is an incredibly fun and rewarding way to get fit and healthy, and if you don’t believe me, then check out the five sections below that help to explain more.

Exercise on-board

No matter whether you have your crew or if you’re fully versed in skippering your craft, there’s always something that needs pulling, turning, or tying on-board a sailing yacht. If you’re brave enough, then shimmy up that mast and keep watch; if you want to build your guns, then get tugging on that mainsail or if you want to help out, then swab the decks with a stable broom. When you’re tacking or changing sails, there’s often not much time to think, and the more chances you have to get involved then the more calories you’ll be burning through physical exertion.

Exercise off-board

It’s not all hard manual labor when you’re sailing, and once you’ve found a safe anchorage or peaceful mooring, then that’s when the fun can start. Water sports, such as jet-skiing, sea kayaking, and snorkeling are all readily associated with days out on a sailing boat. If you’re already an accomplished swimmer, then you’ll already know the health benefits of taking the plunge. Once you’ve found land, then beach games like soccer, volleyball, and Frisbee are all easy to do and great ways to get healthy on a sailing trip.


At night, yachts tend to be manned in shift patterns, with two teams taking it in turns to sleep or stay awake. For me, taking the night shift can often be one of the calmest and peaceful moments on-board, and from staring at faraway twinkling lights to listening to the gentle lapping of the ocean, relaxation doesn’t get any better than this. Of course, during the day, there are plenty of chances for r & r too and hammocks, fishing and just watching the world float by are all great ways to relax your mind and rest your limbs.


Seafood is a staple of any trip to shore and beach BBQs, seaside restaurants, and fish and chips on harbor walls make delicious and nutritious treats to supplement your diet. While on-board, the galley can be utilized to cook up no end of tasty treats and from pasta and rice dishes to porridge oats and tinned fish; dried or tinned ingredients are often the mainstay of any yachting trip. Before you embark on your voyage, or when you top up supplies ashore, make sure you pack lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to ensure your diet remains healthy and packed full of vitamins.


Just being outside and so close to nature is often all you need for a healthy approach to life, and when you’re sailing, you’re pretty much outside 24/7. Sunshine, saltwater, and warm breezes will all play havoc with your skin. Still, if you can readily moisturize and remember to cover up, then the natural benefits certainly outweigh a bit of dryness.