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It’s been a huge adjustment for me to have to do most of my ‘structured’ workouts on the boat. By ‘structured’, I mean the exercise routines that I enjoy doing that involve some resistance or weight training. It’s not all bad though, in fact, I have come to really enjoy it and look forward to going out on the bow to exercise each day. The following is a list of some of the pros and cons of working out on the boat:


  • Convenience. Since I exercise on the bow of the boat (mostly), I don’t have far to go to begin my workout.
  • The scenery. Most of the time we are anchored in a bay that is surrounded by beautiful scenery. This is a nice distraction while forcing out those last few reps of a challenging exercise!
  • Fresh air. All workouts take place outside so I am not breathing in the stale air or the germs that one might experience in an indoor exercise area.
  • Excellent for working balance. The boat is always moving, even in the calmest anchorages. This forces me to really concentrate on balance, ultimately challenging me that extra bit more than if I was on solid ground. I think of this as a good thing!
  • Creativity with exercises has increased. Not all exercises are feasible on the boat so I have become much more creative, coming up with exercises that will both challenge me and that I can do on in a small area with limited equipment.
  • Cooling off is easy. After working out, I can easily jump in the water to cool off.


  • Weather is not always cooperative. When it rains, working out is not as much fun and there is more potential for injury (when things are wet, they get slippery). Also, when it’s really windy and rolly, it’s next to impossible to do some exercises and again the potential for injury is greater. It can be frustrating at times but with some creativity, I have come up with exercises that I can deal with on these occasions.
  • Lack of space. We are fortunate that we have a fairly large trampoline area but it’s still a small area to workout in.
  • Not much privacy when in a crowded anchorage. Fortunately for me, I just don’t care who’s watching. I’m going to work out no matter what!
  • Plyometric exercises are out. Although we have a ‘trampoline’ on our bow, it’s not really meant for jumping on so doing any kind of plyometric exercises while on board is pretty much out. I just have to save those for the times I work out on land.
  • Lack of equipment. We had to leave most of our equipment behind when we moved aboard the boat. Fortunately, I was introduced to the TRX before we started cruising and because it is small and lightweight, we were able to bring it along. I have also found things on the boat that work well as substitutes for some of the other types of equipment we had. For example, our large round fender ball works great as a physio ball!

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