Healthy Lifestyle: Invest Just 20 Minutes A Day In Yourself

The list of excuses is endless: not enough time, too tired, no opportunity, do not know which type of exercise works best for me, my back hurts, my knees are aching, too old to start…

After a long working day, the motivation to put your jogging shoes on, to go for a swim, to visit the gym or just to go for a long walk is usually low.

So how do we overcome the inner resistance, (“den inneren Schweinehund besiegen”, as we say in German)?
The answer is simple:

JUST DO IT!

I recall a busy period in the office when for nearly two years I did not visit the gym or do any regular exercise. I quickly added 10 kilos to my body weight, my blood pressure developed unfavourably, my trousers did not fit as well as they used to, my back started hurting, my shoulders were stiff from 9-10 hours in front of the computer screen, and I simply felt unhappy.

The regular chocolate bar during lunch break, the extra spoon of sugar in my tea, crispy potato chips with a glass of beer or wine in the evening whilst watching a movie did not help to reverse this trend, so I decided to take action and to change something.

I signed up for membership in a new gym that had opened close to the office and set my alarm clock for a 45 minutes earlier wake-up call.

30 minutes of simple exercises before going to the office did the trick: within 12 months I came back to my old weight, my trousers fitted better (or even had to be replaced with ones a size smaller), my blood pressure returned within the normal range without medication, my backpain disappeared, and I felt so much better and energized.

You don’t need a fully-equipped gym, or a private fitness trainer to make it happen – will-power, 20-30 minutes of your time each day invested into your own wellbeing, and you will be surprised with the result.

Start with 5 push-ups and you will see that relatively quickly you will be able to increase to 10, 20, or even 50. A few minutes of stretching after getting up in the morning, or simple exercises to strengthen your abdominals will help you to improve your posture and prevent backpain and stiffness.

There are many effective exercises that can be done without extra weights or equipment, they can be done anywhere, at any time, just by using your body weight.

You might have seen a small booklet that we have printed and distributed to our managed ships, showing some exercises that can be done on board. We will show these exercises in our Uniteam Marine News, and I encourage you to try them out.

How about setting your own personal targets: e.g. three kilos weight loss by the end of the contract, 20 push-ups without interruption by the end of the month. Or why not challenge your colleagues and have a small competition on board?

In combination with some changes in your nutrition (less or no added sugar, more fruit, more salads, reducing the consumption of alcohol) you can do something good for your health, and you will see that reaching your personal goal in small steps will motivate you to set a new, higher, goal for the next month or contract.

Please share your success stories with us and we can publish them in future editions of Uniteam Marine News. Stay fit and healthy, and I am ready to be challenged to a push-up, plank- or sit-up competition whenever I visit a vessel or attend a workshop / seminar in one of our offices or manning agencies worldwide – but be aware, I continue with my daily sports programme and will not be an easy-to-beat competitor, so you shall better do your homework…

Thomas Reppenhagen, Fleet Personnel Director