Keeping Physically and Mentally Fit at Sea


Sailors cruise for months on end before ever setting foot on land. If keeping physically and mentally fit is problematic on the ground, then it is a lot worse at sea.

There is no space and work out tools are limited. Motivation can be low, and routines can become dull too quickly. Seafarers must be creative to stay healthy.     

Below are some examples how seafarers, Marine Corps, and cruise vacationers keep fit.   

Stand-up paddle-boarding   

Stand up Paddling is a sea exercise that has been carried down through generations of island communities. This type of water sport / exercise was invented by surfers who were looking for a way to burn calories on board.

Today, many sailors take breaks from their vessels to hit the waters with a board and paddle.    Paddle-boarding engages all the muscles of the body, and all the while your brain will be at work keeping balance and maintaining course.

Your leg muscles and core will come in handy to stabilize your stance on the board. As you paddle, you will be engaging muscles of the arms, shoulders, and back. The fact that paddle boarding requires both mental and physical attention makes it a very useful exercise at sea.   


Space is the biggest impediment to keeping fit afloat.

Kayaking has paved the way for many sailors and delivers similar fitness results as hiking or treadmill running would on land.

There are portable and inflatable kayaks that don’t take up much space on board but efficiently build muscles on water.

Apart from the foldable and inflatable kayaks, the long and slender hard kayaks are also small enough fit on deck. Kayaking is a moderate exercise that sailors use to relieve stress and strengthen their muscles.   

Kayaking engages muscles on the chest, arms, shoulders, and back. Your core muscles participate in the workout as you rotate your body pushing forwards on the paddle. For an intense exercise, sailors choose to kayak against a current. That is equitable to an extraordinary work out at the gym.  


Most sailors keep carrying a rowboat on board for making short sea trips while fishing or as an emergency measure when something goes amiss on the big vessel at sea. This same rowboat can be the ideal workout machine at sea.

A daily morning routine on the canoe can help sailors burn calories and attain the right frame of mind.   


Just like rowing and kayaking, swimming is a relaxing exercise that sailors love to indulge. While at sea, you must find conducive waters with less stray currents to cool off the afternoon heat and engage your muscles.   

You can do laps around your boat or ship while racing with your fellow seafarers. That is a chance to have fun while burning calories.

Sometimes you will get a chance to spot beautiful marine life - that makes it more compelling.   

Seafaring is not the laid back and comfortable life that many like to imagine. So far away from home, and so far away from your doctors it falls on you squarely to do everything you can to stay fit both physically and mentally. Swimming, kayaking, and canoeing are some of the ways to stay fit at sea. Either that or you will fall victim to obesity, heart attacks and epidemics in the corners of the world that you traverse.    

Mayfair, we care.


Seafarers and managing their health at sea

The experiences and prospects of someone working away at sea are considered to be adventurous, exciting, and lucrative. However, their job role is quite challenging and hectic too. That's why the seafaring community often encounters the various health problems that were the subject of a previous blog and which can seriously impact their physical and psychological health.

In order to avoid and or reduce such common health issues, we look at five effective measures that could be undertaken and practiced in order to ensure better welfare and well-being of the seafarers.

Work pressure needs to be balanced:

In many cases, it has been discovered that seafarers experience tremendous work pressure. Due to the long working hours, hectic work schedule, and minimal rest, they face various health issues, starting from stress and fatigue to deterioration of their physical health and well-being.

Work life balance at sea is key. Research studies and reports have already highlighted the growing levels of stress, distress, and fatigue among the seafaring community. That's why it's important to promote a positive work culture and behaviour.

By reducing the excessive work pressure and promoting a healthy work-life balance, the seafaring community will feel more motivated, relaxed, and focussed. Consequently, the instances of their common health issues reduce.

Knowledge is Power:

The master & senior crew should research and be aware of any outbreaks of illness, epidemic and pandemic diseases before docking in a specific port.

Due to the nature of their job, seafarers need to travel around the entire world and visit many international ports. That's why the seafaring community often gets exposed to various epidemic and pandemic diseases, for example, cholera, yellow fever, malaria, and tuberculosis etc.

Advance knowledge and awareness of a potential issue may help overcome this problem, but seafarers should also be medically checked and vaccinated prior to visiting the infected ports.

By using these preventive measures, the spread of infectious and contagious diseases can be avoided.

Quality of life for seafarers needs to be improved:

This is another effective measure that helps the wellness and well-being of the seafaring community. To improve the quality of life for seafarers, it's important to promote a healthy work-life balance. Apart from that, it should be further ensured that seafarers are offered enough rest and sleep.

To boost their morale, some fun, engaging, and interactive activities need to be arranged frequently. Such activities will make them feel more unified and motivated.

Self-awareness and personal health:

Self-awareness is vital when it comes to avoiding and handling health hazards. And, it's also not an exception for the seafaring community. Once onboarded, seafarers should be provided adequate training on the common health issues and how to tackle such situations in a timely manner.

Additionally, they should be encouraged to follow a proper fitness regime. Their fitness regime should include the necessity of practicing regular workouts and maintaining a healthy diet.

Needless to mention, self-awareness is a proven and meaningful way to avoid various health issues that are mostly faced by the seafarers.


Seafarers should be encouraged to regularly visit a physician or medical supervisor so that a disease doesn't turn to a permanent disability

Certain health issues (especially Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, Musculoskeletal Disorder, and CVD) may turn into a permanent disability if they are not treated on time.

That's why seafarers must be encouraged to regularly visit a physician for periodic health check-ups. In this way, a potential disease can be easily detected and treated so that it doesn't cause a long-term impediment or disability.

Mayfair, we care.