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Exercising While Cruising


Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Amy

Exercise has always been a part of our lives so it would make sense that we would exercise onboard Starry Horizons.  However, it’s taken over four years to develop some good habits and settle into an exercise routine.

Before Cruising

Back in land life, David and I both had gym memberships to our fabulous neighborhood gym (which I’d been going to since I was a teenager).  I saw a personal trainer once a week at the gym and ran eight marathons.  David did a 90-day program called P90X and was also a runner.  We were in the best shape of our lives.

I can’t believe it was 12 years ago that I finished my first marathon.

Exercising While Cruising

Set Your Alarm

For us, especially in the Maldives, the hottest place we’ve ever been, getting up early in the morning to exercise is crucial.  We have to beat the heat and sun, so we are up before the sun rises.  I have an app I use called Sunrise Alarm (Android).  It allows me to set an alarm for X minutes prior to sunrise.


The TRX is a suspension trainer that fits perfectly onto our furled headsails.  It’s a body-weight-based system and adds extra support for balance and tension.  We do our TRX three times a week; legs, chest & back, shoulders & arms.  We have an app called Suspension Workout (Android) to choose our individual exercises.

David and Carlos working out together.

Body Weight Exercises

There are plenty of exercises you can do with no equipment. Push-ups, tricep dips, squats, lunges, etc.  This is what we usually do while on passage, a quick 20-minute workout in the cockpit.

David does tricep dips on the bow.

Exercise Bands

Since there are two of us and we alternate exercises, we also use a set of ProSource resistance bands.  There’s an app called Resistance Band (Android) that we use to pick our exercises.


After each TRX workout, we do 10 minutes of High-Intensity Interval training, which is 30-second bursts of cardio exercise, like jumping jacks, burpees, or jump squats.  We use an app called Tabata Timer for HIIT (Android) to time our intervals.

Treading Water

How long can you tread water?  With a swimsuit on, in calm water, it’s easy, but how about if you add some weight on?  I started treading water with a weight belt and four pounds of weights on to increase my stamina.  During the day, I can tread water between our hulls, giving me a nice shaded area to hang out in.


David likes to swim circles around the boat for his swimming exercise.  I usually take our laser range finder and measure out to the nearest boat, and make that my lap.  Swimming is great because it can be done at any time of day and you will stay cool.  While snorkeling is easier thanks to the fins, we are more likely to snorkel longer than when we just swim laps.

A good swim or snorkel is just a step away.


For an easy, low-impact exercise, we often walk, especially when we arrive in a new place.  It’s a great way to explore the area during the early morning or evening together.  There are so many stellar hikes we’ve done around the world that are easy to access from our anchorage.

A viewpoint while hiking in Dravuni, Fiji.


For a while, I was still running while we were cruising.  Easy access to the shore is usually the biggest deterrent; I don’t want sand in my shoes to chafe my feet while I run.  If there’s easy shore access, there are plenty of opportunities to run beyond roads.  A low-tide beach with hard-packed sand is good for running, or even a quiet airport runway.

A quiet tarmac in Banda, Indonesia. I was not the only runner doing laps!


We have two yoga mats onboard so David and I can do yoga together.  If you have room, an extra thick yoga mat is a good idea, as a nonskid deck is really hard on your body.  I have used the Yoga International app, which is $15 USD a month, but I prefer to use the 20 Minute Yoga Download Podcast, which is free, 20-minute yoga exercises.

Yoga on deck in Tonga.
Due to weather, yoga classes have been relocated indoors! Having a catamaran sure is nice…


Inflating our paddleboard is a workout itself, but then on a calm, flat morning, I absolutely love taking the paddleboard out for a half an hour paddle.  It’s tough to tell how many calories this really burns, as it can depend greatly on the conditions, but even with no wind or waves, a half hour paddling gets a sweat going and makes my feet tired.

Paddleboarding in the Tangalooma Wrecks.

How Do You Exercise While Cruising?

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  1. Maybe I should try male modeling… what a time those hikes in Fiji were. Cant wait to conquer some more ascents with you two in the Seychelles!

  2. Really enjoyed your post. We do so much of the same probably without your level of dedication. TRX, bands, yoga, P90X and paddle boarding. Sometimes it’s hard to stay on program with the lack of a “normal day”, but the lack of routine is why we love cruising. So good to see you young cruisers out there and committed to life on board.

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