April 14, 2013
Lets talk a little bit about fitness. When you move aboard and sail away you lose a lot of the conveniences of shore side life. Number one on the list is the loss of having an automobile. Now a trip to the grocery store includes the thought “how much can we carry back to the boat?”
Our backpack is filled with canvas bags with heavy duty handles and a few over the shoulder sports type bags. Trudging down the side of the road with a bag in each hand, a heavy bag over each shoulder and the heaviest crap in your backpack is part of the usual post shopping ritual.
So a bit of attention to fitness is important. A lot of people think they'll lose that extra 20 pounds after they move aboard. Sometimes they do but more often it just doesn't happen. Getting into better shape before you depart is one of those things you can accomplish while you get the boat ready.
We've just spent the winter in a rented home while we refit the boat. I've had a couch to potato on and 2 refrigerators to eat from so lo and behold, I gained 5 pounds. Damn.
Christy has been using a device called a FitBit to monitor how much natural exercise she gets. The FitBit is tiny and she wears it on a lanyard around her neck. It records the number of steps she walks in a 24 hour period, the number of flights of stairs she climbs and calories burned. It's a pretty cool little tool to help you monitor just how much exercise you get during a day.
10,000 steps a day is a normal goal and after sitting at her desk all day Christy takes a walk when she gets home to surpass that number. I teased her a bit about being so maniacal about getting in her 10,000 steps no matter what the weather. So I guess I shouldn't have too surprised to receive my own personal FitBit after gaining my 5 pounds.
While Christy spends most of her day at her desk I spend a good portion of mine running around the boatyard. I'm pretty sure the longest walk in the boatyard is less than 300 yards. So color us surprised when my first days walking total was over 13,000 steps. At 2.4 feet per stride that works out to a shade under 6 miles. 6 miles covered without really going anywhere, sheesh.
Now that I've had the FitBit for 2 weeks I've found that the 6 mile day was at the lower end of the range for me. My average day is upwards of 9 miles with a 12 miler as the biggie. I don't walk nearly as much on the weekends but my weekly updates from FitBit tell me that I average over 50 miles per week.
Even with all that walking I was still stuck with that extra 5 pounds until I adopted a new strategy. I stopped eating junk food after 8PM. Two weeks later the extra five was gone.