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I have a 30 year old daughter who while not fanatical is quite disciplined in terms of exercise. My having just crossed the 60 line she is concerned about me getting enough exercise. My response is that I sail 3x per week about 3 hours each sail. To which she counters that sailing is not exercise. I was wondering if anyone could care to comment or point me to a resource for calories burnt in sailing. I dont race but when sailing I dont just set sails and chill either. I do push the boat. At the end of three hours I am not exhausted by any means but I do feel like I have been pretty active. That and the pure high I feel from just having sailed would seem to be contributing to overall health. Compared to the boredom and stress of a stair-stepper in a pickin gym watching CNN, I think I am way ahead. What say you?
 

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Exercise? Give it up Chief! Unless you're one of these 20 something hydrofoil moth racers! But more good has been done hand-to-tiller than butt-on-shrink's-couch any day. Should you exercise? Absolutely! Walk a lot. But if she's worried about your ticker popping due to stress, nothing soothes that like a fair wind and a following sea. Well, maybe a cool glass or Merlot at anchor and your honey under your arm, but that's a story for another forum.
 

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Almost any kind of Sailing does provide some exercise, but almost none is really cardio-pulmonary. Mostly you are working your core, neck, and arms. I typically loose weight over a long cruise due to all of the small repetitive motions involved sitting up and steering, moving around the boat or adjusting sails.

Racing can be different using more of the muscle groups and achieving brief cardio moments typically less than 3-5 minutes during some major maneuver. At 64 I actually have to do weight training, cardio, yoga and work on balance to stay in shape for bigger boat racing and even with that I am not as physically capable as I used to be.

Jeff
 

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Yep, I would agree with Don. There's just not enough aerobic effort (like brisk walking or cycling..) for any cardiac benefit to be realized, and there certainly isn't much in the way of weight-bearing effort generated to improve bone mineral density (like brisk walking, running, etc...). I make my living hashing the benefit out of randomized clinical trials, and I've never seen anything done with sailing specifically to show any health outcome, and it would be silly to spend the money to fund something like that because there are so many different activities involved, you'd never be able to apply it to the real world- something that is frequently missing in many drug trials, to say nothing of clinical relevance. I think sailing is a great activity, but most of the exercises involved go into the anaerobic range (ie. if you keep the effort up, you'll quickly go to exhaustion such as you would do raising sails or trimming). The good "cardio" benefit for the exercise I think your daughter is referring to should be kept at a heart rate where you are comfortable carrying on short conversation (like with a buddy on a long run or brisk walk), but high enough to keep you honest (after about an hour, you've had enough), and do that at least 3-4 x/wk. Weight bearing stuff (not swimming or rowing, and probably not cycling) keeps bones healthy so you don't snap your femoral neck falling down on a slippery sidewalk in winter.

Ray
 

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solo sailors back in the day often installed stand alone bikes in order to do some cardio...

come to think about it it would be a great way to produce some needed electricity AND do exercise if you rig a nice low rpm alternator to the wheel as a ways of producing some extra juice

like a mice cage with wheel jajaja
 

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If/when you're singlehanding you 'do more', I think, but it still probably doesn't amount to anything like an even moderate workout.

Just turned 60 myself, and for the last 3 years or so I've been rowing at home on a 'water rower' Home Rowing Machines - WaterRower Rowing Machine - Indoor Rowers, Erg

It's a great low impact workout.. a half hour/day initially helped me drop 20+ lbs, and now I'm maintaining at a comfortable weight, but the biggest benefit has been the full body workout without the impact of treadmills or hassle of a gym membership. We have no windlass and the upper body fitness gained here makes retrieving our 35#er plus some chain by hand a relatively easy thing to do.
 

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I have a 30 year old daughter who while not fanatical is quite disciplined in terms of exercise. My having just crossed the 60 line she is concerned about me getting enough exercise. My response is that I sail 3x per week about 3 hours each sail. To which she counters that sailing is not exercise. I was wondering if anyone could care to comment or point me to a resource for calories burnt in sailing. I dont race but when sailing I dont just set sails and chill either. I do push the boat. At the end of three hours I am not exhausted by any means but I do feel like I have been pretty active. That and the pure high I feel from just having sailed would seem to be contributing to overall health. Compared to the boredom and stress of a stair-stepper in a pickin gym watching CNN, I think I am way ahead. What say you?
unfortunately no...sailing is a very very laid back sport especially day sailing and or cruising

in fact its so lacking in cardio that many cruisers used to find ways of burning calories up

from yoga on deck in the sunlight aka moitisser style to standing bikes that produce juice for the batteries

now racing dinghies and being a bowman is a different story all together

you will do serious calorie burning there, however its mostly ANAEROBIC not aerobic like running... especially if you sail boats like lasers that workout the abdomen, thighs, glutes etc...not to mention arms and torso

in any case I may offer the advice if you have some extra $$ to go and buy one of the new workout watches

like fitbit, or the samsung watch even the iphone watches and wristbands...

you can see heartbeat, calories burnt, target workout, graphs etc...some are cheaper than $100 and do stuff as simple as pedometer and heartbeat some are crazy and tell you persiperation levels,ph levels and stuff like that.

this would put to rest any doubt on how much activity(calorie burning) you are doing say against playing a different sport like TENNIS or running.

this way you can compare

for christmas I have a fitbit or similar watch on my wish list as Im getting back into tennis, cycling and running after a long hiatus.

cheers
 

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If/when you're singlehanding you 'do more', I think, but it still probably doesn't amount to anything like an even moderate workout.

Just turned 60 myself, and for the last 3 years or so I've been rowing at home on a 'water rower' Home Rowing Machines - WaterRower Rowing Machine - Indoor Rowers, Erg

It's a great low impact workout.. a half hour/day initially helped me drop 20+ lbs, and now I'm maintaining at a comfortable weight, but the biggest benefit has been the full body workout without the impact of treadmills or hassle of a gym membership. We have no windlass and the upper body fitness gained here makes retrieving our 35#er plus some chain by hand a relatively easy thing to do.
if your back is good hauling in the tackle is an awesome workout...I was never as fit as when I hauled in my all chain ground tackle and #25 bruce...however I was in my early 20s, not married and not a dad and not a daily drinker! ajajaja:D:D:D
 

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The answer, of course, is it "depends."

If I am single handing, there is plenty of exercise. Raising the main is quite a workout. With 2 people, one can jump the halyard from the mast. Doing that alone would be a challenge as the halyard must be tailed from the cockpit. From the cockpit buy hand, I can only get it up maybe a third of the way. Thereafter it needs to be winched.

Do you do much tacking? In anything but light air, tacking is work on my boat.
 

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a. Have her do everything, including hauling everything from the car and any maintenance that is due, next time you sail. Very purposefully do not lift one finger to help, as that would change things. Make certain there is a breeze. This may change her tune.

b. Consider kayaking or some other aerobic component. More fun than a treadmill (yuck).

c. She's 30; her exercise needs are very different.

d. What is the health history of the family? Exercise needs vary. myfamily would all go 90+ off the couch. But you don't sound like a couch potato.
 

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As a full time cruiser, I believe we get more exercise than most post 60+ folks. Though the sailing itself may not be all that exercisefull, certainly all the support activities are a good work out, from time to time. Just getting in and out of the dink alongside (no scoop/aft boarding here) is a multimuscle workout.
Going to the store, either walking if close, or by bus, requires carrying half a week's groceries (and any specials) to the bus station, from the bus (or store) to the dink and then hoisting it aboard. In Martinique, since uht milk is the cheapest in the eastern Caribbean, we usually purchase a hundred liters, and let me tell you that's no relaxing afternoon on the couch, especially on a 90 degree summer day. Some portage fuel and water to the boat, a real work out IMO, and though we all try to ease the chore of bringing the dink aboard or up on the davits, few of us use power to do so.
Never mind a daily snorkel, a hike up to the fort or look out, way up there.
Add the generally low stress lifestyle and I'd almost believe some of have found the fountain of youth.
 
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Lift dinghy onto top of truck, load supplies into truck, lift dingy off truck, launch and load dingy with stuff, row to boat, sail... repeat in reverse.

Lots of work, but, not aerobic. Way better than just sitting in a rocking chair.

Get a mooring really far from the dinghy dock, and row.
 

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When we started cruising, I thought I was going end up super lean on my new fish and rice diet. Unfortunately, I cruised into Mexico and have kept up a steady diet of Pacifico and Arracherra tacos. Now, when I brush my teeth, my boobs swing from side to side. And I'm a guy who didn't have boobs this time last year.

Hopefully this next year in French Polynesia will be better. We plan on spending 4-5 months in the Tuamotus, so I think I'm free from tacos for at least that time.
 

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Exercise is something to keep you healthy and fit. To be healthy and fit above the age of sixty, some walking daily or sailing a few hours per week should be more than enough. We are not going to run for 5-6 miles every day. Do remember that, not long ago the life expectancy was 60-65 years. Keep sailing, that should be enough for you (and me).
 

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rb, unless you are competitively racing and having tacking duels, sailing ranks somewhere above "professional deskjockey, ride 'em hard" and way way below gym sessions of any kind.

See what all the "exercise" sites have to say about cardio and heart rate, the monitors are cheap enough these days if you don't want to take your pulse the old fashioned way. You're just not getting the same exercise, in your whole week, that a real gym rat would get in an hour.

Now, if you keep the sails furled and scull the boat, that'll help.(G)
 

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number 1 rule here discern between aerobic and anaeorobic exercise

2 rule YOU MUST SWEAT

monitors are a great way to dispell any myths

cyclists for example suffer from lower abdomen gut, NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY CYCLE OR HOW LONG AND GRUELING THE RIDE IS

simply because the gut is hanging all the time and not being used as much as the rest of the body

so a cyclist can benefit from running as well as abdominal workouts...

despite this being aerobic exercise

a sailor, day sailor or cruiser is only briefly aerobic...now if your a deckhand on a shrimper or tuna boat running on deck every 5 seconds hauling in pots and stuff thats a whole nother shebang

I find it funny how normally sailing is considered a peacefull sport 90% of the time and mellow and now when the question is posed all of a sudden were super athletes! ajajaja

the best way to get a gut is go sailing, sitting down eating a muffin and chug it down with a beer and come back to the dock after an exhausting day sail!

MAN!

all joking aside it depends when and where you sail and what kind of boat you sail

as always it depends...

peace
 

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There probably is some isometric exercise benefit going for you in sailing. Bracing yourself in various positions does count IMO. But, as others have said there not much aerobic component on board. Though I do quite a bit of bending and lifting the body in the course of the day. I do go for at least one swim usually more on the warm days which helps too. As does cleaning the bottom which I do several times during the summer. Raising the anchor by hand could be included as part of an exercise routine. Cranking up 540 square feet of sail is pretty good too. Rowing the dingy is good too if done regularly. I do find after extend stays on board when cruising the legs seem to weaken from lack of use until I get a couple of walks in. In the off season I do get on an exercise bike everyday and watch You Tube sailing videos which carry me through the winter or at least when I'm not chartering in some place warm. :)
 
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