Windsurfing: get your body in shape at home | Photo: Carter/PWA

How may windsurfers maintain their strength and cardiovascular fitness during on-season? Is windsurfing enough physical activity for preserving our health and fitness?

Windsurfers who feel healthy and fit just before the start of the season need to think about a few things regarding their physical fitness during the on-season.

With family and work obligations, and having to expect that the wind gods give us plenty of opportunities to sail, there may be weeks of insufficient physical activity during the windsurfing season. If we do not follow a flexible maintenance training program during the "official" season, we might lose some of our hard-earned strength and cardio fitness.

Studies have shown that athletes strength may decline after only one week of insufficient training. But it takes considerably more weeks before one may experience a significant drop in strength and endurance. To keep up your physical fitness during on-season it is necessary to do maintenance training, especially if we do not get a strenuous sailing workout at least once a week.

"Fortunately, it generally does not take much to maintain a decent level of fitness during on-season, even if we do not get to sail as much as we want," notes Henrik Beyer author of "Health & Fitness for Windsurfing."

If you prefer not to train at the gym during the maintenance phase, the following exercises will help you stay in shape. All you need is access to a pull-up bar. The following exercises can be performed once a week:

> Lunges
> Push-ups
> Lying back extensions
> Reverse grip chins
> Standing calf raises

Do between 10-15 repetitions and two sets of each exercise. Avoid fatigue and creating a strenuous workout by adjusting the number of repetitions and or sets.

The cardio workout should be light to moderate in intensity and should be performed for about 20 minutes. Complete the following core exercises before or after each workout:

> The plank
> The bridge
> Sit-ups

Do between 10-15 repetitions and two sets of each of the above exercises.

"For maintenance workout to be effective, you should not get exhausted after the workouts and most of your energy should be put into windsurfing. For example, if the windsurfing season does not deliver sufficient winds, and you're not able to sail as much as you want, feel free to go for a more strenuous workout occasionally," concludes Beyer.