Now that January has rolled into February, it’s time toassess the progress you’ve made toward your fitness resolutions. Are you stillgoing strong or have you fallen into a slump? For those in the latter category,don’t feel discouraged — it’s not too late to quit slacking. The key is toovercome those frequent onboard obstacles: exhaustion, limited space; the listgoes on. Try these seven tips to organize, motivate and energize yourself to a strongerand healthier you.
1. Create a GoalCalendar
According to Chris Campbell, a certified strength andconditioning coach and owner of Next Level Fit Training, consistency is key tosetting and reaching a goal. “Making your goal visible, something you can seeevery day, multiple times a day, is ideal,” he says. “That way, you will alwayshave it on your mind and will be more likely to follow another important factorin goal setting — accomplishing one objective (big or small) towards reachingyour goal every day.”
Campbell recommends creating a goal calendar to hang whereyou’ll see it most often. Make a list of objectives that will help you achieveyour goal. For example, a goal to lose five pounds may include objectives toexercise at least 30 minutes and eat four clean meals a day. Mark an X on each day when you complete at leastone objective, and color in the entire day when you complete two or more.
“It’s best to break down your goals into short-term periodsto avoid becoming overwhelmed and to allow for adjustments in your goals as youprogress,” he adds.
2. Reap the Rewards
Staying on track for your goal can inevitably become toughduring those long charter days. It’s okay to reward yourself every now and then— it will actually help you stay motivated in the long run.
Campbell suggests giving yourself a day off to rest or indulgingin a cheat meal once a week. “It makes reaching your daily and weeklyobjectives that much easier knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
3. Be Aware
When you’re really restricted to a busy schedule, a littlesomething is better than nothing. For these days, Sarah Lavalette, a personaltrainer with a diploma in Sports Massage Therapy, suggests doing a set of 25full range-of-motion squats or preferred exercise. Even 15–30 minutes ofexercise is beneficial and can be shared over two or three sessions in a day.
“Even when there is absolutely no time for exercise, it isimportant to be aware of the muscles you are using while doing everydaythings,” said Lavalette, who is also a PADI instructor and 500-hour yoga instructor.“For example, when running up endless flights of stairs, pay attention to themuscle groups you are using. Movement should come from the core first, thenglutes (if you are walking),” she says, adding that breathing also deeply helpssupport the spine.
When all else fails, a buddy system prevails. Campbellsuggests enlisting a friend to join you, or at least to inform them of yourgoals and have them check in with you every day. Sharing your journey on socialmedia also will give you extra accountability and a push of motivation.
5. Squat it Out
“No matter how small the yacht is, there is no excuse not tosquat!” maintains Lavalette.
What’s great about squats is that there are so manyvariations, allowing you to focus on certain muscles. “You can vary the squats— including doing full range-of-motion squats and holding at the bottom forthree seconds before standing back up to activate the vastus medialis muscle,which helps to stabilize the knee,” Lavalette adds.
If you’re looking for a squat that will have your glutes andhamstrings really feeling it the next day, try Campbell’s instructions for whathe calls the best booty building exercise:
Place one foot (instep or toe) on chair/bench knee heightfrom floor. Place other leg one stride length in front of chair/bench (footwill be resting on bench behind you). Lunge down keeping top leg relaxed whilefocusing on pushing through floor leg. Keep both knees bent and lowered to 90degrees, keeping spine neutral. Raise up to standing position with floor legstraight. Repeat. Complete three sets of 10–15 reps on each leg.
6. Push it Up
Push-ups, or press-ups, are another exercise Lavalette saysyou can always find room for…the key is to be resourceful. For example, shesuggests using the crew mess table as a place to do raised press-ups.
Campbell shares two push-up variations that he considers tobe great strength and size building exercises for your upper body:
From push-up position, lower chest and turn torso to rightside while bending elbows 90 degrees. Keep back straight. Extend arms to top ofpush-up position, turn and lower chest to left side, bending elbows as before.Move quickly, keeping shoulders over top of wrists. Each side is one rep,complete 20 total reps.
From standard push-up position, lower down at the elbows toa 90-degree position and hold for 15–30 seconds. Continue to breathe. Push up totop position after designated time period. Complete immediately after rotationalpush-ups for three full sets.
If you’re craving more, add a twist to your push-up by doinga burpee, which is, as Campbell suggests, an excellent full body strength andconditioning movement for burning calories and getting in shape.
Stand tall with feet together. Drop hands to floor and jumpback with legs to a push-up position. Lower entire body to floor. Raise hipshigh off ground and jump forward with feet. Jump up getting feet at least oneinch off floor, standing up tall to starting position. Repeat as many times asyou can.
7. Don’t Ignore YourBody
While you should build motivation and push yourself,everyone has a breaking point and it’s important not to cross that line. AsLavalette puts it, “When you are exhausted after a long day (or week), listento your body!”
On these days, rest or avoid exercising strenuously bykeeping it simple. According to Lavalette, just 40–50 star jumps will energizethe body in the morning. She suggests moving the body in a different way to howyou have been or doing some gentle stretching.
“The best areas to stretch on long guest trips are thepectoralis, shoulders, lower back, neck and glutes,” she says, adding that youshould give your lower back, neck and shoulders a nice 30-second stretch, asthey will probably be the most sore.
A little dedication can go a long way. With a regularexercise routine, it will take up to two months to start losing mass, somaintenance helps, says Lavalette. When you feel deterred by those onboard obstacles,just remember Lavalette’s words — “Where there is a will, there is a way.”