Fitness Friday: Sailing workout

KIMT News 3 – The Clear Lake Yacht Club was kind, and brave enough to help me take on the rough North Iowa waters.

My first lesson on the boat: The wind really does whatever it wants, and the boom will hit you in the face.

Before the real workout begins, my instructor A.J. Hanas has me “crew.” That means, I pretty much get to sit there, while he drives the boat. This is pretty simple, so I’m ready to move on.

A.J. and I switch places and it’s my turn to take command. Being in charge, maneuvering the sails and the rudder is a big responsibility, but luckily it’s a lake, so there’s not much I can hit out here.

Now that I have the hang of things, it’s time to get serious.

First, you loop your feet under this strap, sit on the very edge of the boat and lean back till you’re almost parallel with the water. To do this safely, engage your core as you lower yourself down slowly, then just hold that position.

If you’re in a racing situation, A.J. tells me you can be leaning outside the boat like this for 45 minutes or longer.

Obviously, this kills your abs, but it’s also strengthening your lower back, and after a while, your calves and quads will start to burn too.

The wind isn’t too strong today, but when it gets going, you’ll be working your arms, shoulders, and chest like crazy. But when the wind dies, you get to sit up front and catch some rays.

You’re always moving on the boat, so the average person can burn around 270 calories per hour. Not too bad for a day on the water if you ask me.

This isn’t just a workout for your body, but for your mind as well. That’s because there is a lot of vocabulary involved.

After a while, I understood why people love the sport so much.

Before it was time to head back to the docks, there was just one more thing for me to learn. This was completely on purpose, as all sailors need to learn how to safely right their boat if it happens to topple over.

Plus, being able to flip over an entire sailboat makes you look, and feel super strong.

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