Let’s get real. Sometimes when guests are on board, you’re just too exhausted to keep up an exercise routine. Plus, when you’re working 15-hour days for an extended period, your body just plain hurts.
I get it, because I’m there now. We have guests on for 20 days and the thought of doing anything but sleeping on my break seems impossible. Even writing this is a stretch at the moment.
Does this mean I should give up all my healthy habits, because I can’t muster the energy for exercise?
Not at all.
Here are a list of habits I don’t compromise on, no matter the circumstances. If you choose to incorporate these habits into your busy day, you will feel much better overall. Plus, getting back to exercise once the guests are gone won’t be such a challenge.
Drink a liter of water when you wake up, before you have anything else. Drink at least three liters of water throughout the day. Put rubber bands around your water bottle and take them off as you finish the bottle to record how much you’ve drunk.
Vitamin D supplements
When guests are on board, you probably won’t see the sun much. It is vital to get enough Vitamin D. Get a good supplement and take it daily.
Eating a vegan diet is far less difficult to digest. Meat and dairy are the hardest foods to digest. Because hard-to-digest foods take up a lot of your body’s energy, you will feel more tired when you eat them.
Instead, to have the most energy, eat high carbohydrate foods such as rice, potatoes and other grains, along with fresh fruits and vegetables. Plus, you’ll be saving the planet, animals and your health. It’s a win-win situation.
Now I must confess, every time guests are on board and I’m tired, I crave peanut butter or almond butter on bread. Is this the end of the world? No, and I know by now that my indulgence in this meal is something that happens when I’m out of balance from lack of sleep, exercise and not consuming enough fresh fruits and vegetables.
Believe it or not, caffeine makes you more tired. It is not a health food; it is a drug. It might seem like it’s harmless, but the highs and lows you experience with caffeine keep you on a roller coaster that create junk food cravings, and mood and sleep issues.
In your overly tired and overly worked state, you will become more vulnerable to your cravings and moods when the caffeine wears off. No matter how tempting caffeine is when you’re tired (and it is very tempting, I know), stay away from it.
The best way to beat exhaustion is to take a short nap on your break. Then, before going back to the job, try doing just 10 push-ups, 10 squats and 10 crunches.
The boost of endorphins from such a short workout will leave you feeling good but it won’t completely wear you out. And if you feel like doing more, go for it.
Power on fellow yachties. Having guests on board is tiring, but it’s also our chance to shine at what we do.
Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from entries in her blog, The Yachtie Glow (www.angelaorecchio.com), which offers tips for crew on how to be healthy, fit and happy on board. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.