The Health Benefits of Sailing


Picture this: open water, ocean air, a breeze hitting your face, as you maneuver a sailboat through the clear waters…

Sailing is not only a fun activity to do with your friends and family on holiday, but it is also a great way to get fit and toned up. Manning a sailing boat is probably more hard work than you think, but the good news is that you are exercising without even realizing it, which is what makes it so fun!

Samir Becic, 4 times Number 1 Fitness Trainer in the world and HFR’s “The Health Benefits of Sailing”:

  • Muscle strength and Endurance: The activities that sailing consists of are pulling and hosting of sails to maneuver a boat or a yacht- all of which adds to your muscle strength, shoulders and back.
  • Cardiovascular Fitness: Sports like running, swimming, basketball, and soccer have been shown to reduce the risk of hypertension, obesity and other heart illness. Sailing, like these other intense sports can also improve your cardiovascular health. This is because of the large amounts of oxygen uptake that happens when you engage in strenuous physical activities.
  • Mental Wellness and Peace:  Being out on the water puts you on a good mood not just because of the calmness of the water but because of the saltiness of the air. The varying moods of a person are largely affected by a body chemical called serotonin. The saltiness of the sea air is composed of charged ions that helps in the body’s oxygen absorption which in turn results to a more balanced levels of serotonin. The more balanced your body’s serotonin levels are, the happier you’re going to be.
  • Relaxation: The  motion and sounds of the swooshing and splashing of water, the rhythmic movement of the yacht and the sound of the wind in the sails can all affect brainwave patterns. This in turn relaxes and soothes a busy and highly stressed out mind.
  • Agility: The various tasks associated with sailing also helps improve your flexibility and agility. Activities like pulling lines or hosting sails can significantly improve your hand and eye coordination skills as well as your motor skills.
  • Concentration: Because many people today are chronic multi-taskers, they should develop a deep sense of concentration. With the ultimate goal of staying safe while on board, sailing enhances a person’s ability to focus even with multiple tasks at hand.
  • Communication: To effectively control a boat, the captain and his crew must act as unified unit. To do this they need to learn how to communicate effectively especially through non-verbal means. You can also have a good sense of cooperation and teamwork when you go on a sailboat. Everyone on board has a crucial role to play in order to keep the ship afloat.

Health Fitness Revolution by Samir Becic Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization, to make the world a healthier, fitter place, please donate!


  1. Exactly.

    After running the gauntlet in a stout battle with cancer, I was wrecked physically, emotionally and spiritually.

    I decided to retire, go sailing singlehandedly and would make the same decision again.

    Now the boat is gone, but great memories and my health remain.

    Thanks for a great story.

  2. […] Recently, I’ve learned how to sail and I was wondering how does sailing affects my health? While you are sailing, you gain muscle endurance since you are constantly hosting the sails up to control the boat. Sailing also improves your cardiovascular system because of the physical activities used to move the boat. For me, when I am out on the ocean, the sun is shining, and the wind is hitting my face and blowing my hair in all directions, puts me in a peaceful mood. The saltiness in the ocean is filled with ions, and these ions help the body’s oxygen and balances out the serotonin, a body chemical. The more balanced the body’s serotonin is, the better mood you will be in. Being out on the water makes me feel very relaxed and makes me forget about the stress in life. The sound the wind against the sails affects the patterns in the brain, and relaxes the mind. Below is the source I used: […]

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