August 13, 2017

Betsy Kingsley, My Maine Motivation….

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Smarties, I want to introduce you to Betsy Kingsley. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Betsy this summer (4 days a week for two months to be exact) during my New England adventure in Maine. If you are ever in Mid-Coast Maine, I highly recommend taking one of her classes. She is not only an amazing personal trainer, she is beautiful and the most fun person to be around. She comes across as a soft-spoken lady with a gorgeous smile – and then it happens, her voice becomes firm, her Maine accent comes out as she encourages you to go lower, lift higher, try harder, etc. She is good. She is really good! Betsy continually pushed me out of my comfort zone, no two workouts were ever the same. In her classes, I have met the most amazing women – some local, some summer – it has been so much fun! I refer to us as #betsysquad. betsyandjenni1

Betsy was featured in the magazine Maine, Boats, Homes and Harbors. In the article, she gives ideas on how to incorporate a workout as you are cruising around on your boat. However, these workouts can be applied to any vacay or long weekend you may go on – hiking, at the beach, a day on the lake, in your back yard, etc.
Without further ado, here is Betsy’s article.

To Sit or Not to Sit? Cruising for the Fitness Minded

By Betsy Kingsley, Personal Trainer

For those of us who love cruising but also need to maintain a certain level of movement and activity, there are certain dilemmas while aboard. Let’s face it folks, cruising is sedentary. Not only that, but eating and the evening cocktail hour go hand-in-hand with cruising, at least in my family. These realities have forced me to be creative about how to get the right amount of exercise while afloat.Madison-2b[1]

In my daily life, I work as a personal trainer and have always been a mover. Simply put, I have to find ways to exercise no matter where I am. As a youngster in East Millinocket without access to a gym, I hiked Katahdin, biked around town, spent countless hours hitting a tennis ball against a backboard, and shot hoops at home in a makeshift basketball court in our driveway. My mom’s flower garden barely survived those years.

Growing up far from the ocean, my only early experience on a boat was when my father would pack up all the kids and hook the ski boat to the car for a day trip to Jo Mary Lake. He took great joy in hauling us around the lake on water skis, and I have good memories of these times spent as a family on the water.

Years later, my husband-to-be, Scott, suggested we charter a sailboat for our honeymoon and cruise Penobscot Bay. Despite knowing nothing about sailing or cruising, I thought it would be a fun adventure and had faith in his ability to captain the boat, so of course, I said yes. As it turns out, it was the best honeymoon and even though we were sedentary, I was hooked.
We returned to Penobscot Bay the following year with friends in tow to charter a Bermuda 40 with five people, three guitars, and way too much food and beer. There wasn’t much room to move our bodies that trip, but the guitars got a lot of use.

In the fall of 2003 we finally launched our own boat, Whistler, a custom-built Duffy 35 finished off by Clark Island Boat Works. We have gone cruising every summer since, traveling as far east as Roque Island and as far west as Block Island.

That’s a lot of sitting. The first couple of years I figured that if I brought sneakers and exercise bands I could take a walk while in port, then get creative on board by wrapping my bands around the radar arch and doing some push-ups and squats on deck. Despite the addition of limited exercise, I still returned home with a higher body weight and stiff muscles.

Since then I’ve learned how to add more activity during our cruises. Now I always bring my paddleboard, strapped to the cabintop. I paddle around islands, into coves, up rivers, and into little gunkholes. Some of my favorite paddling has been down on Cape Cod, Naushon Island (Hadley’s Harbor), Onset, and Martha’s Vineyard. Those beautiful harbors offer protection and awesome scenery, and paddleboarding is absolutely great exercise.

In the fall of 2003 we finally launched our own boat, Whistler, a custom-built Duffy 35 finished off by Clark Island Boat Works. We have gone cruising every summer since, traveling as far east as Roque Island and as far west as Block Island.

That’s a lot of sitting. The first couple of years I figured that if I brought sneakers and exercise bands I could take a walk while in port, then get creative on board by wrapping my bands around the radar arch and doing some push-ups and squats on deck. Despite the addition of limited exercise, I still returned home with a higher body weight and stiff muscles.

Since then I’ve learned how to add more activity during our cruises. Now I always bring my paddleboard, strapped to the cabintop. I paddle around islands, into coves, up rivers, and into little gunkholes. Some of my favorite paddling has been down on Cape Cod, Naushon Island (Hadley’s Harbor), Onset, and Martha’s Vineyard. Those beautiful harbors offer protection and awesome scenery, and paddleboarding is absolutely great exercise.

After a cardio workout on the water with the board, I get out plastic gliders and do 50-100 “mountain climbers” on deck—an exercise where you put your hands on the floor in a plank position, and with a glider under each foot, slide your feet back and forth.

After working the legs, I strap my TRX Suspension trainer to the custom rod holder and work my upper body and core. This piece of equipment is so lightweight and portable, no one will even know that you smuggled it aboard. You can work legs, arms, abs, and every other part of your body. Simply put, it is the best.

The latest discovery that is now part of my daily routine is the Barre workout. Modeled after ballet, this strength-training exercise provides a way to stay active with pliés and relevés whether at anchor or under way.

With experimentation, I found the right formula and even came back from this year’s cruising season feeling stronger and fit.
There is talk of building a bigger boat. Maybe this could even mean a real gym on board. Shhhh, don’t tell my husband.

Onboard exercise Tips

Although I use gliders (glidingdiscs.com) and a TRX Suspension Trainer (trxtraining.com) on board, you don’t need fancy equipment to stay fit on the boat. Here are a few exercises you could easily learn on land, then take with you when you cruise. And of course, check with your doctor before you jump in.

– SquatsTRX[1]
– Lunges
– Push-ups
– Wall Sits
– Mountain Climbers: with or without gliders
– Pull ups: on the gunwale or from an arch
– Dips: off a settee or from the gunwale

Betsy Kingsley is an ACE certified Personal Trainer. She lives in Cushing with husband Scott and her Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Bruschi.

Article re-printed with permission from Maine, Boats, Homes and Harbors Magazine.

Smarties, I must admit, this article makes me want to go out and by a paddleboard! Who wants to join me and go paddleboarding?

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