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 finest 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 simply 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 own crew or if you’re fully versed in skippering your own 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 just want to help out then swab the decks with a solid 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 labour when you’re sailing and once you’ve found a safe anchorage or peaceful mooring then that’s when the fun can really start. Water sports, such as jet skiing, sea kayaking and snorkelling are all readily associated with days out on a sailing boat and 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 2 teams taking it in turns to sleep or stay awake. For me, taking the night shift can often be one of the most calm 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.


Obviously seafood is a staple of any trip to shore and beach bbqs, seaside restaurants and fish and chips on harbour walls make delicious and nutritious treats to supplement your diet. Whilst on-board, the galley can be utilised 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 but if you can readily moisturise and remember to cover up then the natural benefits certainly outweigh a bit of dryness. Finding peaceful Moorings are often the key to a successful trip and from nature reserves to secluded coves, sailing is all about getting fit, healthy and closer to the natural world.

Biog: Chris still remembers his very first sailing trip across the Channel to France and can’t wait to recreate the voyage with his son and daughter.

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