Put yourself at ease by protecting those you love
03 March 2021
Being a seafarer is challenging. You need to be strong and physically fit to meet the demands of your work onboard. What exercises can you do to keep your strength and stamina?
We’ve listed the ideal exercises that you can ultimately build into a daily or weekly routine while at work. These can be done either at the gym (if there are facilities available), around your ship, or inside your cabin with minimal equipment required. Keep in mind that this article is designed to provide helpful information only, it is not meant to be taken as health or medical advice.
Just remember that how you start and end your workout is also key to maintaining your fitness, so don’t forget to warm up and cool down after each session.
1. Exercises that strengthen your core and legs
Basic exercises include squats, lunges and leg raises. The key to this exercise is using your own bodyweight to support your hips and legs as you go about your job daily.
● Start by standing with your feet apart by at least your hip width.
● Squat down, then jump as high as you can, swinging your arms for momentum and keeping your back straight and chest up.
● Drop your hips as far down as you can when you land, stretching out your knees to return to the squat position.
Reverse and lateral lunges
● Begin with an open stance.
● In a reverse lunge, lift your right leg before moving it back. Bend your knees as you sink, then rise and return to position. Do the same with your left leg.
● In a lateral lunge, stand with your legs apart before taking a big step towards your right side. Bend your right knee as you go down, keeping your left leg straight. Return to starting position before repeating with your left leg.
● Keep your feet apart while standing up.
● Lift your ankles, keeping your weight at the balls of your feet.
● Inhale as you rise and hold your position for about three seconds before going down.
● You can also do single-leg raises by lifting your right leg and keeping your hands on your hips to keep you steady. Lift your left ankle and hold for three seconds. Do the same with your left leg and right ankle.
2 Cardio exercises
Three cardio exercises for 20 minutes can work wonders for your cardiovascular health.
Jump rope routine
● In two five-minute blocks, jump with your rope in 30 to 40-second intervals
● Rest for 30 seconds, then resume for another 30 seconds.
● If you’re a beginner, start with the basic jump (both feet together) before trying to hop on one leg, either in intervals or alternating.
Brisk walking or jogging
● Take a 10-minute brisk walk, or jog at a treadmill or around your ship’s deck.
● Include a run-up and down some stairs to add agility and speed to your training.
3. Strengthening and conditioning exercises
Strength and conditioning exercises target your whole body and build your endurance.
You can do weightlifting exercises by using dumbbells, barbells, elastic bands, or any object with a bit of weight (like a water bottle or can of paint). You can also sit down or stand up while doing this exercise.
● Start by having your arms at your sides, palms facing outward.
● Lift the weights, drawing your elbows in towards your body.
● Pause for a few seconds before slowly lowering your arm back to position.
● Do two to three sets of eight repetitions, alternating between single or double arm lifts.
Push-ups and planks are great for conditioning muscles and building endurance.
● Begin with the high plank position with your arms extended, palms of the hand at the floor, at about shoulder-width distance.
● Extend your legs towards the back.
● Bend your elbows as you lower your body to the floor.
● Push yourself back up through your palms, straightening your elbows as you do so.
● Do eight repetitions before resting and doing another set.
● Begin in a mid-plank position with your elbows bent, your palms facing the floor, or hands clasped.
● Extend your legs towards the back, keeping the feet apart and aligned with your shoulders.
● Keep your core engaged and hold your position for about 30 seconds.
4. Flexibility exercises
Flexibility exercises can start or end your workout routine. These exercises are composed mainly of stretching routines that can prep your body for more rigorous activities. They also prevent muscle tightness, which means less pressure on your joints.
Toe touch/standing stretch
● Begin by standing up straight with your feet slightly apart.
● Slowly bend or lean forward towards the ground, lowering your head while keeping your muscles and shoulders relaxed.
● Let your body rest naturally. Keeping your hands close, stretch your fingers, and begin reaching towards your toes.
● Or, you can wrap your arms around the back of your legs and hold your position for 45 seconds to a minute.
● Bend your knee as you roll back up to a standing position.
● Sit down with your feet in front of you.
● Bring your feet together, soles touching each other, and knees stretched outward.
● Keep your back straight, then try to stretch and press your knees to the ground (If it hurts, don’t push it).
● You can also bend your upper body forward to reach your feet if you’re flexible enough.
Back scratch stretch
● While sitting down or standing up, stretch out your arms before placing your right hand behind your head, over your shoulders. Your palms should be facing your back.
● Reach towards the back as far as you can.
● Place your left hand towards your back, palms facing outwards, and reach for the other hand. Avoid straining to reach the other hand.
● Switch arms and do the reverse.
Maintaining your fitness and strength requires dedication and discipline, so stick to your regimen even if results may be slow to come. Set your sights on the priceless reward of your hard work: a healthier, longer, and better life.
As you maintain good health while on board, remember to prepare for any unseen health emergencies by investing in a plan that secures your health needs while growing your money. BPI AIA’s MedLife Protect Plus secures your health and life needs as it covers up to 90% of your medical costs, and includes recovery care in your plan. You can even get added perks and benefits from AIA Vitality for staying in shape.
To find out more about MedLife Protect Plus, submit this inquiry form or visit the BPI AIA website.