Health is wealth might seem like such an overused cliché. However, the truth is that sailors face all sorts of challenges and hardships on board ships. All these make them realize the importance of staying healthy while working in harsh environments and ship conditions.
Although wellness is a term that is getting more and more popular right now, did you ever stop and think about how important it is for sailors on board? For most people, wellness means simultaneously being in excellent physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual condition.
Yes, that’s right. There is more to being well than being fit to work alone. While life out at sea is enriching, it has challenges and difficulties.
Being far from the comforts of home, family, and loved ones for months on end with very limited to almost no communication is always challenging. Throw in the cultural barriers, quick turnaround times, and the ever-increasing issues of threats, including piracy, and it’s no surprise that stress, loneliness, and fatigue can wreak havoc on a sailor’s well-being.
Many incidents out at sea are linked with the so-called human element, a term that conceals a multitude of underlying concerns. These can also spell the difference between a challenging working life and a rewarding career. There is also a difference between a significant, serious incident and a safe trip.
To ensure that you stay healthy and suitable at home while out at sea and completely embrace your job and all its complexities, it’s critical to take responsibility for your health and well-being and its five key areas: physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.
You see, nothing is ever impossible, even when you are onboard a ship. Below are the top health tips for sailors to ensure your well-being on the open waters.
Maintain a Healthy Disposition at All Times
The choices you make will ultimately pave the road to your happiness. Whatever happens throughout the day, try not to fret or frown. Don’t allow those unfavorable situations, things, or thoughts to wear down or ruin your day.
Instead, try your best to put a genuine smile on your face. Without you even realizing it, the rest of the world will be smiling right back at you if you do so. Doing this will work to your advantage, even more so when boarding a ship where you will see and deal with the same people daily.
Make Detoxification Your Daily Habit
The general rule of thumb is to drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Ensure that you constantly chew your food correctly and thoroughly every time you eat to ensure easier digestion and prevent constipation.
Don’t forget to cleanse and detoxify your body at least once daily. If your body is filled with toxins, your liver will weaken, preventing it from doing its job correctly. Once it happens, it requires cleaning right away. The toxins attached to the intestinal walls can compromise the body cells and impair their function. This can lead to the development of different diseases and illnesses and overall poor health.
Say Your Prayers
Yes, being spiritual always has its own set of benefits. Saying your prayers regularly is scientifically proven to positively affect your life, both for your soul and your body. Praying is undoubtedly the best way for you to kickstart and end your day. Regardless of your religion, make it a point to say your prayers whenever and anytime you can.
Practice Yoga as a Form of Exercise
Yoga refers to various traditional systems of meditation and physical exercise in Hinduism. Modified versions of yoga are now a popular form of low-impact physical exercise for therapeutic purposes. Yoga is proven and tested to benefit the human body’s mental and physical aspects. No matter how challenging things may be, always make it a point to include yoga in your routine.
Drink Your Milk
You’ve read that right. Always drink your milk. Contrary to common belief, children are not the only ones who can benefit from drinking milk. Drink at least two glasses of milk daily to get your dose of calcium. Just so you know, your bones get weaker as your body ages, making you more prone to osteoporosis and all its risks. Drinking milk will help you meet your daily requirement for calcium.
Engage in Sports
Look for your inner child and engage in some sports. Many vessels these days have extra spaces allotted for outdoor sports. Aside from the fact that this is a great way to exercise, it’s also perfect for bonding with your colleagues and nurturing teamwork in a fun and enjoyable way. Sports like table tennis are great for giving your body its much-needed exercise.
Spend Time at the Gym or Fitness Center
During instances when it’s impossible to engage in outdoor activities, you can always make the most out of the gym equipment onboard the ship. Try spending 30 to 40 minutes to let out the sweat, burn those extra calories, and eliminate toxins from your body.
Always choose healthy foods, including vegetables, fruits, fish, and lean meats. Opt for white meat rather than red meat. Try to grill, roast, or steam it instead of frying. Boil your eggs and consume the egg whites only to minimize cholesterol intake.
Go for wheat bread since it has a lower glycemic index than its white counterpart. Brown rice is also better than white rice, but if none is available, try to lessen your rice intake to control your glucose levels.
Don’t skip your breakfast because this is the most important meal. To manage your cholesterol levels, you might want to consume oatmeal. Stay away from salty foods, too. This will help you maintain your blood pressure while onboard.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Try to be adaptable, whatever happens. Always maintain an open mind, making you more welcoming to changes. After all, change is the only constant thing in this world, so try to keep up with whatever life throws your way while onboard. You should also be open to new ideas while working with the team. Maintain a positive attitude no matter what.
Cut Back on Your Intake of Carbonated Drinks or Soft Drinks
Cola is loaded with caffeine, and carbonic acid is found in almost all carbonated drinks. Others even have traces of citric and phosphoric acids that may irritate the gastric glands if taken on an empty stomach. These drinks are also filled with calories that might make you gain unwanted weight while on board.
Go Slow with Your Sweets
If you are a chocolate lover or have a sweet tooth, it’s best to choose dark chocolate whenever you crave something. Rather than cakes and ice cream, for example, why not opt for fresh fruits? But of course, you can still let yourself enjoy a sweet break and indulge in some desserts at least once a week.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
If your ship doesn’t have an alcohol policy on board, see that you only drink it occasionally and moderately. You should know your limits. Remember that alcohol should go to your stomach, not to your head.
Try to Stay Connected
Make sure your communication lines are always open, if possible. Thanks to the rise of modern technology, sailors can now easily stay in touch with their families, loved ones, and friends. Talking to the people closest to your heart and sharing your experiences with them is one of the best ways to keep your well-being in check while on board.