It’s widely accepted that a healthy body and mind go hand-in-hand, which is why regular physical activity is an important element of most people’s daily routine.

This old adage rings just as true for those working ashore as it does for those whose jobs take them to sea.

For this reason, the crew members of HMAS Arunta, who left their home port of Fleet Base West in mid-June, have no shortage of options when it comes to keeping fit.

Physical Training Instructor Leading Seaman Matthew Rowe said he offered a range of fitness options. 

“It’s extremely important for the crew to have regular access to physical training activities, which is why we run 27 sessions a week,” Leading Seaman Rowe said. 

“These range from sunrise yoga classes on the flight deck right up to intensive functional fitness classes that we run at various times of the day.”

Arunta is taking part in the East Asia Deployment, which came on the back of a four-month Regional Presence Deployment across South-East Asia and the Pacific, incorporating the Rim of the Pacific Exercise off Hawaii in August.

During the Regional Presence Deployment, Arunta won the task group sporting challenge, excelling in bin ball, touch football and the whole-ship fitness challenge held in Guam.

Leading Seaman Rowe said the ship’s company had enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to keep fit on the deployment, with every training session attracting high numbers of participants.

“The crew has been extremely motivated and we’re currently averaging around 110 personnel per day taking part in at least one daily session,” he said.

“As well as keeping fit, regular exercise is a great way to release stress and to generally make you feel better about yourself, which in turn allows you to carry out your job more effectively.”

Because of the pandemic, the ship is only conducting essential logistics visits while deployed, with those visits being carried out in accordance with strict COVID-19 mitigation methods.

On completion of the deployment, Arunta will return to Fleet Base West, Rockingham, Western Australia.