“To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Alanna McDonald has been practicing as a Chiropractor for almost 10 years and has been working at InMotion Health Centre Topsail Road for 6 years of that time. She is an outdoor enthusiast in every sense of the word always striving to maintain a healthy balance between family life, work, and activities such as hiking, yoga and enjoying the beautiful coastline that surrounds our province through her newest passion which is sailing.

We chatted with Alanna about her love for sailing and the health benefits that can be gained through this rewarding hobby. We hope this post inspires you to get outside and try something new this summer.

Tell us a little bit about your history with sailing and why you love it so much?

I started sailing four years ago when I met my husband. His dad has a 36 ft boat in the marina in Holyrood. Up until that point, I didn’t realize how much of a big sport sailing was here in Newfoundland! I was pretty nervous my first time out but quickly became addicted to the freedom and adventure. For our honeymoon, we went to Greece and joined a group on a 50 ft yacht for a week of sailing through the Greek islands. It was such an amazing experience!

What are some health benefits you have experienced from sailing?

Sailing can be very physical depending on how many people are involved. When it’s just myself and my husband on the boat there is a lot more work per person. At times, you are using your core balance to stay upright and engaging your legs when the waves are high. At other times your winching ropes and raising sails and it takes a good bit of effort. You’re also getting lots of good fresh air and vitamin d. 

As a health care professional how important do you think it is for people to get outside and enjoy physical activity?

As a health care practitioner, I think it is so important to get outside and get active. Our necks and backs are overworked all day by sitting at computers or staring at a phone and we need to counteract that with healthy physical exertion. It’s good for the body and it’s good for the soul. 

As with any physical activity, there is a risk of becoming injured. As a chiropractor, what is some advice you could give on injury prevention while sailing or being out on the water?

There are lots of important safety concerns when sailing. It’s important to always use a personal flotation device when standing on the deck of the boat. Before taking off you should do some light stretching to get your body warmed up for the physical activity. While sailing you should keep both feet planted on the ground and unlock your knees. You should tighten your abdomen without locking your pelvis and lower your shoulders.

Lastly, breathe and take it all in! There’s nothing better than challenging the open sea.