Regardless of what kind of cruise you go on, there are always ways that you can keep fit on your travels. Exercise will keep your body in good condition, settle your mind and help you to make the most out of your holiday. Furthermore, watching what you eat will put you in control of how many calories you are consuming each day.
Don't be fooled into thinking that a cruise is a confined space that will make maintaining your fitness regime difficult, or that all that all-inclusive food and drink that's on offer will make eating healthy problematic.
Even the smallest changes can make a big difference to your overall health, so read on to find out how you can keep fit and healthy on your cruise.
In this post we're going to discuss the following:
Top tips for keeping fit on a cruise
Extra tips to help you keep on track
Top tips for keeping fit on a cruise
Eat at least one healthy meal per day: By all means, when you go on holiday you are sure to want to indulge in all the beautiful food and drink that's on offer. However, it's wise to eat at least one healthy meal per day. The best time of day to do this is the evening, as you may be less active at that time of the day. Some cruises may even have a healthy menu option for those that really want to watch what they eat, and may even go as far as to open specialist healthy food and drink cafes - so there's really something for everyone to enjoy.
Take the stairs: If you're on a relatively large ship you may be tempted to use the lifts available to get to around. In order to avoid taking the easy option, try taking the stairs as often as possible to make sure you are working your legs. 11 minutes of stair climbing burns about 100 calories, so don't be put off when you're stood at the bottom of the stairs and it seems like a long way up. Think about how much good you will be doing for your body once you get to the top.
Prioritise workouts: You don't have to workout all day everyday in order to see an impact, but it is worth planning a session for 30-60 minutes a day. On the days when your ship docks you could even go for a jog around your ship's track or join one of the ship's sports teams if they're on offer. It's great for making friends on your cruise and improving your fitness levels. Not to mention the fact that being socially and physically active will boost your self-esteem and put you in a positive frame of mind.
Burn calories whilst you sightsee: When it comes to excursions and keeping fit, book yourself in for some of the more active tours. There may be a bike ride tour around the city you are visiting, which is a wonderful way to see all the top spots whilst exercising. Alternatively, if you're in a city like Rome or Barcelona, skip the bus tour and explore the area on foot. An hour of brisk walking burns about 300 calories, but if if you wish for a more accurate result, you can always carry a pedometer to track your progress and keep you motivated.
Plan your indulgences: Everyone deserves a treat now and then, and whilst you're on your cruise you are definitely going to want to try some new and exciting dishes on offer. However, in order to keep on top of your fitness and health, try to plan when you're going to indulge in something naughty but nice. Ideally, lunchtime is the best time of day to do this so you have chance to burn it off throughout the day. Use this time as an opportunity to eat your favourite foods or taste the local cuisine.
Use the onboard gym Physical health and fitness is hugely important - even on holiday - which is why many cruise ships now offer onboard facilities so that you can continue your healthy workout regime on holiday. What's even better is that you can experience some of the world's most stunning views. Imagine running on a treadmill and looking out onto the ocean, cycling to an intriguing new city or lifting weights as you watch the sunset.
Try an exercise class Whether you are a regular at gym classes, or you want to try one for the first time, a cruise is the perfect place to get involved in some group fitness. With classes ranging from yoga, pilates, cardio workouts and muscle strengthening, there will definitely be a class suitable for everyone. One of the bonuses of taking part in a class on a cruise are the glorious locations. Yoga on the beach or pilates on the top deck will surely put you in a positive mood to work out, and are a whole lot more exciting than your usual workout space back at home.
Watch what you drink When it comes to all inclusive cruises, the food and drink are plentiful and easily accessible. However, even though isn't a crime to have a drink whilst on holiday, it is worth trying to substitute what you'd normally drink for something with less calories. For example, opt for a vodka, lime and tonic water as opposed to a pint of beer or a glass of wine. This will be less heavy on your stomach and you can afford to have a couple without feeling guilty.
Take advantage of juice bars As cruises evolve, more companies are taking into account how important fitness is. That's why some cruise lines are opening up juice bars for customers. This is a brilliant idea for those who are keen juice drinkers, but also for those who perhaps want to try something new. With a wide range of flavours to choose from - whether that be fruit or vegetable options - there will no doubt be a juice to satisfy everyone's tastebuds.
Try a spa treatment In the same way that onboard gyms are getting bigger and better than ever, the same can be said for spas. We know the importance of balance when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, so when you're not working out and burning a sweat, it's a good idea to have some well-deserved relaxation time. Spa treatments that focus on health are a welcome trend and something everyone should try out. Look out for acupuncture, reiki and custom massages. These are also beneficial for passengers suffering from arthritis and other joint pains. Many cruise lines also have thalassotherapy pools, which are said to be good for circulation and ease muscle and joint pain.
Extra tips to help you keep on track
As previously mentioned, carrying a pedometer around whilst on your travels is a great way to accurately calculate how many calories you burn and how many steps you take. You could even set small goals for yourself each day to try and beat yesterday's target.
Making a checklist or target sheet is always a great way to keep on top of your fitness. You can set yourself aims to reach each day such as doing a certain amount of sit ups, pushing yourself to cycle for a longer period of time or simply drinking more water. It’s always a satisfying feeling to tick off goals on your checklist once you have completed them, as it helps to keep you motivated and determined.
Make a list of all the gym classes you are going to attend so you can base your treat days around them. That way, if you want to indulge in a scrumptious piece of cake at lunch time, you know you will be able to burn it off later in an aerobics or spinning class.
Making small changes like going for a veggie burger instead of a beef burger, or opting for frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, could really make an impact on your health. Sure, meat is protein and essential to our dietary needs, but choosing the veggie option occasionally will ensure you get the right nutrients to keep on top of a healthy eating regime.
Remember, none of these tips can be achieved unless you have a healthy mind, so it's vital that you are in the right frame of mind before embarking on your cruise. Go on holiday with the mindset that you can have a wonderful time away whilst maintaining your health and reaching those all important goals.
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