If you’ve ever dreamed of casting off the shackles of land life for a sailing adventure, you might just be onto something big – a longer and healthier life!
Let’s dive into why the sailing lifestyle can be your ticket to a life full of vitality, adventure, and longevity. So, grab your lifejacket, raise the anchor, and set sail into the world of healthy living.
1. A Natural Playground for Fitness
I’ve never been one for the gym, but I knew the importance of cardio, weight training, and stability/mobility exercises. Enjoying life on a sailboat provides constant opportunities to keep fit without trying!
When you live aboard a sailboat, your world becomes a floating gym.
Imagine coiling ropes, hoisting sails, dropping or stowing fenders, and navigating the deck as part of your daily routine. Sailing demands physical exertion, from trimming sails to hauling anchor. It’s a full-body workout that keeps you active, strong, and flexible.
And it’s not just the sailing part of sailing that keeps you fit.
Swimming, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding are readily available whenever you’re at anchor. Getting groceries involves dropping the dinghy, motoring to a dock, walking to the store, walking back, and lifting groceries onto the boat.
Going on a sailing adventure makes fitness a by-product. It simply happens without trying.
2. Stress Melts Away with Every Wave
Stress can be a silent assassin of health, but the rhythmic motion of the sea has an almost magical way of soothing your mind. The gentle rock of the boat and the endless horizon can provide a sense of peace and tranquility that’s hard to find elsewhere. Lower stress levels can lead to better heart health, improved mental well-being, and a longer life.
Before we left on our 10-year full-time sailing adventure, my husband and I would go on week-long sailing vacations. I couldn’t find a way to shut off or relax on land. I needed to constantly work, clean, plan, organize, and be productive. I’d try to meditate or daydream, but I just couldn’t stop my inclination to do, do, and do.
However, life on a boat magically coerced me into quality relaxation. The sea mesmerized me. After doing a trade show in London, I remember coming home and telling my husband, Simon, I was fried. I felt totally burnt out.
Simon made arrangements for a quick sailing adventure, which was the perfect medicine for me. I sat in the cockpit, watched the patterns on the waves, stopped thinking, and felt no need to be productive. It was heaven.
3. Fresh and Healthy Cuisine on a Sailing Adventure
Living on a sailboat often means relying on fresh, whole foods – especially in the tropics. You’re more likely to prepare your meals from scratch, using local ingredients whenever possible. Fresh fish, colorful fruits, and vegetables become your culinary companions.
A diet rich in these fresh, nutrient-packed foods can help ward off chronic diseases and energize you.
Everyone in the States and Europe has grown to expect all produce year-round. In the tropics, you often have no options other than locally grown. Enjoying fruit and veg when they taste their best is a delight. Also, it’s nice to want things. I spent a month looking for tomatoes. Eventually, they came into season, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated them!
4. Sleep Like a Baby
Nature’s best sleep aid is the gentle lullaby of the waves under a starry sky. Onboard, you’ll find that quality rest comes naturally. Regular, restorative sleep is linked to better health and a longer life.
There’s also something about getting nature’s light that must affect our bodies. Sure, we all know that Vitamin D, coming from the sun, is important. But there’s something so soothing about sleeping under a bright moon. I woke up a few times wondering why a spotlight was shining on my face. When I realized it was the moon, I smiled and felt connected to nature.
5. Disconnect to Reconnect
The sailing lifestyle often forces you to unplug from the constant digital noise of modern life. Reduced screen time and increased time spent in the company of nature and loved ones can boost mental health and strengthen social connections – both keys to a long and happy life.
While doing our Sailing Lifestyle Experiences with guests, one of my favorite aspects of the trips was our longer voyages. I loved spending several hours enjoying the sail while getting to know our passengers. With no phone interruptions, nothing to do (other than sail), and a wonderful breeze in our faces, we simply chatted about anything and everything.
It’s unfortunate, but how often do you spend four to six hours unplugged from the rest of the world? Even if we meet friends for coffee or have dinner together, our phones are out in plain view, ready to capture our attention. Sailing across the Atlantic was pure bliss. For 18 days, we disconnected from the world yet connected to nature and each other. It seriously was priceless.
6. An Ever-Changing Sailing Adventure Horizon
Sailing offers a new adventure around every bend. Exploring new ports, experiencing different cultures, and encountering diverse wildlife can keep your mind engaged and your spirit youthful.
At the beginning of our sailing adventure, it took me a while to go with the flow. I tried my best to control things, but the sailing life will certainly break you of that habit. Over time, I realized that plans are always written on the sand at low tide. In other words, plans will always change. However, whether you do plan A, B, or Z, it’s all good.
One day, we might have a whale surface next to the boat and get sprayed by the blowhole (This happened along the coast of the Dominican Republic). The next day, we might try an authentic meal that takes us out of our comfort zone (In Crete, we ordered a plate full of 50 small snails cooked in a rosemary sauce). The list goes on!
7. Resilience in the Face of Challenges
Sailors are problem solvers by nature. Living on a boat means confronting challenges head-on, from weathering storms to navigating unfamiliar waters. This resilience can translate into a more positive outlook on life and a greater ability to adapt to whatever challenges come your way.
Simon and I did not know how to troubleshoot, let alone fix, a Diesel Engine. We had no idea how watermakers worked or what to do when our systems failed.
At first, it was terrifying to realize that we didn’t know what we didn’t know. Slowly but surely, however, one truth eventually surfaced. Whatever challenges we faced, we were able to overcome them. What a lesson to help build confidence and resilience.
8. A Sense of Purpose
A sailing adventure provides a unique sense of purpose and direction. Whether cruising the Caribbean or circumnavigating the globe, setting sail brings a sense of adventure and accomplishment that can add years to your life.
Don’t take my word for it; give it a try. If you’re not convinced that a sailing adventure will work for you, test drive the lifestyle for a week. Simon offers week-long sailing lifestyle experiences in the Caribbean.
In the first few days, he teaches how the boat works, safety, getting the sails out, navigating, and basic seamanship. Then, under his supervision, he hands the boat to you/your partner/your family to see what life is like on the sea. Seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, and feeling the lifestyle causes an Ah-ha moment for guests. Once the sea captures your spirit, there’s no going back!
So…the sailing lifestyle isn’t just a romantic fantasy; it’s a pathway to a long and healthy life. Combining physical activity, stress reduction, fresh cuisine, and the sheer joy of adventure contribute to longevity.
If you’re considering a change of pace and want to sail toward a brighter, healthier future, hoist those sails, catch the wind, and embrace the seafaring life – your body and soul will thank you. Happy sailing!
Other Articles & Videos – Sailing Adventure
- Setting Sail into Retirement
- Sailing Tips for Couples
- Starting a Sailing Lifestyle
- Tips and Tricks for Learning to Sail Blue Water