Benefits to Exercise

There are many benefits to exercise from a health point of view and sailing is a great way of getting fit! Sailing is exercise which helps build stamina, strength and improves concentration.

Having a high stamina, is being able to endure long periods of work and is built up through aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise. In sailing, you are in a boat for a long time and overtime this improves your stamina.

Strength is increased by working out the muscles and weight lifting. High strength is achieved in sailing by hiking out the boat, which works your abs and legs, and pulling in the sails, which works your arms and shoulders.

Exercise can help improve your quality of life. It will make you look and feel better as well as keeping you fitter, which will help your sailing further as you will not be held back through lack of a good physique.

How can I get started?

Intimidated or confused? Its okay! I have prepared several pages filled with further information and resources, which will help you exercise safely as well as providing further information for your needs:

  • Exercise for Seniors - Feel that sailing may be a little too much for you? Read this article to alleviate any worries you may have about the difficulty of sailing and how it can help you many ways.
  • Exercise for Kids - Just because your young doesn't mean that you can't sail! Every kid should do a sport and why should sailing be any different. This article details why sailing is great exercise for your child.
  • Exercises for Women - Slightly daunted by going out sailing? Think that it may require a lot of strength and a high level of fitness? This article provides tips on how sailing can improve your fitness as well as links to resources to help you take your fitness further.

Of course once you start sailing, you may want to increase your fitness even further to help take your sailing performance to the next level.

You can do this by doing further aerobic exercise and weight lifiting, outside of sailing in a gym. I have compiled a list of exercises that I and others have used to improve sailing performance.

Which muscles do I need to exercise?

The key muscles to be building for improved sailing performance and at the same time being built during sailing are:

Abdominals and Obliques

These muscles help you hike out the boat and strengthening them will allow you to hike out for longer

Arms and Chest

Strengthening these muscles will help you pull in the ropes on the boat and control the tiller in high winds

Thighs and Legs

These muscles help you to get in the boat again after hiking out as well as allowing you to hike out for longer

What do I do to stay fit?

Apart from sailing, I do Jujitsu, which is an intense martial art to stay fit. You should find something that will get your heart rate going such as running, swimming, cycling, football or other sports.

As well as the martial art, I do weight lifting to increase my strength and weight. I use dumbbells (free weights) and increase the amount of weight I lift each time. I do a variety of weight lifting exercises that has changed my physique in just 6 months.

Nutrition is also key. To improve your body's muscularity you need to eat more protein, whether in the form of square meals or as a supplement.


Fitness and greater strength are the best benefits to exercise and if it is done regularly, you will see a real change to your sailing performance.

You will be less tired and able to go at full pelt for much longer. You will be able to hike out for longer and not get cramp in your legs and abs. You will also end up with a great physique!

All of this can be achieved by using the techniques on this page and others, by applying them to yourself and ending up with a better sailing performance!

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