5 tips and tricks to stay fit on board a research vessel
The holidays are always a difficult time to do your regular exercises. Especially on a research vessel, where everyone has different shifts, it can be quite hard to keep up with your regular workout schedule. Even though the shifts may be physically active and so are taking the stairs to the bridge or the monkey deck for a nice view, it may be nice sometimes to do some proper sports. On the Archimedes-I cruise we have quite some exercising options, which might be useful for future cruises. Here is my top 5 of activities to stay fit on board a research vessel.
1. Table Tennis competition
Believe me, playing table tennis on a moving ship is a very big challenge
There is one sporty activity that always finds its way on board: the table tennis competition. I have played table tennis for over a decade, but believe me, playing table tennis on a moving ship is a very big challenge and therefore a proper workout. An additional advantage of table tennis is that everyone can do this and you can’t do it alone, you need your colleagues to join you. The tournament is thus also a great way to interact with your colleagues in an active form and to have fun. A win-win situation!
2. Dancing (‘Lindy Hop’)
Dancing is always a fun exercise. You hear your favourite music, move rhythmically and see your colleagues in a relaxed environment. General dancing evenings are of course great, but the scientists on the Archimedes-I cruise had the chance to participate in a Lindy Hop dancing clinic. Born in the late 80’s, I’m very familiar with moving rhythmically on a beat, but the Lindy Hop is definitely another level. The only thing you need is a great teacher, who knows which songs are the best to show off your dancing moves. You’ll be surprised but at the end of the clinic evening, you will be kicking off your legs to your left and right, swirling through in the hangar!
Another activity that has found a lot of enthusiastic participants on recent cruises is the bootcamp. Sailing has some advantages, especially in warm and tropical seas. It is often nice weather and so it is possible to do some exercises on an outside deck. There is a nice view and a light breeze that make you forget the burning muscles during your mountain climbers and push-ups. An additional challenge is the movement of the ship that will make you even work harder to keep your plank straight. You just need one motivated drill sergeant who tells you which exercises to do. There is no doubt that you will come back fitter than ever.
4. Table soccer (‘Kicker’ in German)
You are not just playing your opponents, the waves may also be against you
On most of the vessels, there is a table soccer table. At first this might seem like a sports activity for the not-so-fit, but don’t be such a fast judger. Like with table tennis, it is very challenging to keep stable and hit the ball on the right time when the ship is pitching and rolling around. The ball can go in every corner because you are not just playing your opponents, the waves may also be against you. With table soccer you train your stability, your reflexes and you might even sweat when focusing on kicking that ball into the goal. This is definitely not an activity for the faint-hearted!
5. The Gym
There are many people on a ship and so perhaps you prefer to burn those calories by yourself at your own pace. There is a gym on most of the research vessels, where you may find a rowing machine, an indoor bicycle and some weights. There are more than enough possibilities to get rid of that access energy. Who knows, maybe someone will join you and you can cycle together!
These are my tips and tricks to stay fit on a research vessel. Perhaps some ideas for your New-Years resolution? They will keep you healthy and fit and you will be able to eat all the delicious food that is served on the RV Sonne, without feeling guilty.
This blog post was published as Staying fit onboard of a research vessel: 5 tips and tricks at the cruise's website on 30 December 2018.