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Long journeys confined to a yacht can take their toll on the body, if you let them. In order to stay in shape, yacht crew need to overcome numerous on-board obstacles like exhaustion, limited space and restricted gym facilities, the list goes on. Yet, the benefits of exercising are well worth the effort. Good fitness helps crew stay focussed during long work hours and can prove particularly useful for those working on sailing yachts. Yacht crew recruitment agency YPI Crew shares five tips on how to stay fit on-board.

1. Create a Goal Calendar

To begin with, create a goal calendar and hang it where you will see it most often. Not only does this structure your day effectively, but also helps motivate and focus you, delivering better results faster.

It is recommended to break down your goals into short-term periods before building up to one larger achievement, for example, losing five pounds in a certain amount of time. Be reasonable in your estimations otherwise you may become disheartened and disinterested in your personal fitness plan. Also, set objectives that will help you achieve your goal. For example, a goal to lose two pounds may include objectives to exercise at least 15 minutes a day and to cut on junk food. This generates a more complete sense of achievement and, therefore, a more rewarding experience.

2. Rest

Sticking to your workout goal calendar can inevitably become tough during those long charter days. Thus, don’t be afraid to periodically treat yourself to a day of rest. Over exercising can be just as dangerous as overeating. Your body needs an opportunity to recuperate energy. Taking breaks can actually help you stay motivated in the long run as it is easier to reach your daily and weekly objectives knowing that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

3. Be Opportunistic

Sometimes you may find your day is so busy with work that you may not think that you have the time to exercise. Whenever you feel like it, keep in mind that a little something is better than nothing. You will find beneficial even 15–30 minutes of exercise in-between shifts. For better economy of time, divide your daily work out routine into several sessions. Remember you don’t need gym facilities or machines to exercise. Burpees, squats, sit-ups and push-ups can be done anytime and anywhere.

An opportunistic fitness regime is always effective. It simply requires you to be aware of the muscles you are using when carrying out your daily activities. If you are in a yacht stewardess job, for example, rather than simply climbing yet another flight of stairs, use it as an excuse to exercise by focussing on certain muscle groups as you go up.

4. Pair with Friends

Incorporate friends into your exercise routine for a more enjoyable fitness regime and for added motivation. A gym partner is particularly useful during weight training with regards to safety. Another way to stay on track for your goal is to share your journey to a fitter you on social media, which will give you extra accountability and a push of motivation.

5. Vary Your Routine

It is important to exercise each and every muscle. Listen to your body as you do this and plan your workouts based on this. For example, if a particular part of your body has been under strain in your working day, try to avoid exercising this muscle group in your time off. Don’t forget to stretch after you exercise. The best areas to stretch on long guest trips are the pectorals, glutes, shoulders, lower back and neck.

Whenever you feel deterred by those on-board obstacles, remember that a little dedication can go a long way.