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Career

Five ways working on a yacht can actually improve your health

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After some time in yachting, it can be difficult to remember how great we felt in the beginning of our careers. If you’re like me, you probably left a job somewhere on land looking for adventure, income, and travel. You were prepared to work hard, and when you finally landed your first job on a yacht, no one on Earth had a better attitude. Clean the bilge for eight hours? Sure, what’s next?

As some time passes, though, the work becomes tiring, sometimes difficult, and so are crew and guest politics. But if we take a step back and re-evaluate our jobs, we might find that life isn’t so bad after all. We might even find that we have improved our health since working on board.

  1. Sunshine. We are fortunate enough to get loads of sunshine. Even for those of us who work on the interior and don’t get outside for long periods, chances are that throughout the year we are in the sunshine more than we would be if we lived and worked at home.

Getting out in the sun for a short time, 20 minutes to 1 hour in the morning and/or late afternoon, is excellent for vitamin D levels. When vitamin D levels are normal, our mood, hormones and skin are all in great balance.

  1. Fitness. We are always doing something physical. From working on deck to ironing and vacuuming, yacht crew are on the move. How many hours were we on our feet doing something physical at that last land-based job?

Even when it feels like all we’re doing is working, if we focus on our tasks, we can turn them into exercise. Plus, on our days off, we are more likely to get outside (because the weather is good), and exercise.

  1. Stress. Yes, our jobs can be stressful, but we’ve also eliminated a lot of previous stress. We don’t sit in traffic nor sit behind a desk under fluorescent lighting. We have few bills (if we choose) and enough money to play with. The things normal people worry about just don’t apply to yachties. In fact, what we do stress out about is often so trivial that, if we recorded it, people on land would laugh. Hard.
  2. Money. If we play our cards right and don’t spend all our earnings on drinking or shopping or …dare I say … traveling (I’m guilty of the latter), we can save a nice little bundle. In fact, after even a few years in yachting, most of us could tick off quite a few items on our bucket lists. I often pinch myself and remember to be grateful for all of the classes, trips and investments I’m able to make, thanks to my yachting salary. These have all contributed to me becoming a healthier, happier person.
  3. Travel. Being able to travel and see new cultures has made me a healthier person because traveling lights me up inside. It also keeps me motivated to get outside, and makes my creativity soar.

I want to point out that all these perks in yachting — including healthy food and enough water and sleep — aren’t handed to us; we have to work for them. Be consistent with a healthy diet and adamant about drinking enough water. Even in the face of temptation, make the best choices.

Fight for enough sleep, even when the temptation is there to party all night long, or watch one more episode of Game of Thrones. Sleep is probably the most underrated health and beauty remedy out there. Get 8-10 hours of it whenever possible for optimal health.

Like any industry, yachting has its quirks. If you enjoy it, find a way to make it work and stay healthy. As the saying goes, when you don’t want something bad enough, you will make excuses. When you do, you’ll find a way.

Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from her blog, Savvy Stewardess, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Yachting. Contact her through www.savvystewardess.com.

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About Angela Orecchio

Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from blog, Savvy Stewardess, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Yachting. Contact her through www.savvystewardess.com.

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