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April 3, 2017 Rates, Reviews, Sailing, Trip Advisor, Williamsburg, York River

Stay Fit by Sailing

Stay Fit by Sailing
Sailing can make you physically fit, and keep you that way. If you work out at the gym, it’s that much easier. Sailing is quite an adventure for one’s muscles, without that much effort.
The very activity of getting on and off a boat takes some exertion, especially at extreme low and high tides. The rule is to keep both hands free so that you have one hand for the dock (piling) and one for the boat (shroud). Be careful not to jump onto the boat as that will damage the knees. Keep all movements fluid.
Stay Fit by SailingAs the sailboat heels, it gently requires tightening of certain muscles to retain one’s balance. People find their way by propping one foot here and another there. Standing requires its own set of muscle contractions as the boat sways in the wind and the waves. It’s seldom strenuous but still kinetic.
Hoisting the sails requires upper-body strength to pull down the halyard. Done correctly, it should stress the back muscles but not to any great degree. As the sail reaches 80% of the proper height, the weight increases and should be transferred to a winch. Turning the winch handle requires some strength, especially at the end of the process.

Tacking through the wind

Pulling the lines (aka sheets) requires some deftness in the arms, again nothing too strenuous. As the boat tacks through the wind, the jib sheets are loosened on one side and pulled on the other to bring the jib to the leeward side. It’s like a bullfighter turning his cape as the bull passes through. Timing is important, as well as speed. It’s good exercise for the arms as long as you don’t extend them out too far. That could eventually hurt the trapezius muscle or the rotator cuff.
Docking requires pulling on lines, but much of the work should be handled ahead of time by the engine moving the boat in proximate position.
Stay Fit by SailingMoving around the boat requires balance. Always keep one hand on something sturdy. When going below to the salon, some people prefer to stop backward to prevent slipping. Beware of wet surfaces.
Sailing is not for everyone. Obese people can handle it if they are prepared to be mindful of their hips and legs. Most boats are impervious to weight distribution since the wind will take of that anyway. The key issue is knees since heeling requires some pressure on them.

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