How To Stay Fit When You’re On the High Seas
There are many reasons why a cruise vacation is popular, and in the past, one of those reasons was simply the food. Your dining is included onboard – room service, lido deck buffet and main dining rooms.
And guess what? If you were feeling frisky, you could order a second round…of dinner. Yes, you could have multiple dinners, lunches, or breakfasts in one sitting. The sky is the limit on a cruise.
Now, if that doesn’t sound very appetizing to you, never fear. The cruise industry has drastically changed over the last few years to accommodate a growing demographic of health-conscious guests with the introduction of new cruise ships featuring healthy eateries, grand and state-of-the-art fitness centers, and high energy onboard games and activities.
While there is some truth to the claim that you can gain five pounds (or more) on a cruise, that is no longer the norm. You can keep up your healthy lifestyle, or become even healthier, on your next cruise vacation.
Find (And Use) The Gym
When you get onboard that first day don’t head straight for the lido buffet. Instead, try and find the fitness center. Take a tour of its facilities, the equipment, class-offerings and sea views (yes, panoramic sea views). You don’t necessarily need to go and work out each day, but just seeing what the gym has to offer may entice you to hit it up for a sweat session during your downtime.
If you enjoy a sweat session daily, you won’t be let down. Every cruise ship offers some sort of gym, and newer ships have centers that are an astounding 9,700 square feet. You’ll have your choice of modern cardio and weightlifting machines, spinning bikes, a Pilates studio, a boxing ring, and group classes, such as yoga, aerobics, spinning and Pilates.
Exercise Outside the Gym
There other plenty of ways to be active on a cruise and never have to step foot in the gym. Get outside and jog on the outdoor jogging track, go rock-climbing, test your balance in the surf simulator, play basketball or go ice skating, take a tango or ballroom dance lesson, and last but not least, take the stairs! That alone will lower your blood pressure two ways, through exercise and not having to wait for the elevators! The possibilities are endless on the modern day cruise ship.
Watch What You Eat
Even though you may not indulge in ordering two full meals at dinner, the abundance of cuisine offered onboard is something you don’t want to miss. Especially with the new, accessible health and wellness programs that include spa cafes and restaurants focusing on lighter fare with low-calorie, fresh ingredients. The chefs onboard can prepare vegetarian entrees, low or no sodium and low cholesterol entrees, sugar or fat free desserts, and provide nutritional information.
If dining in the buffet is more convenient, have an ‘appetizer’ of salad or vegetables on a large, dinner plate. Then go back for your main course and use a salad plate, so you don’t eat more than needed. Try drinking red wine or mixed drinks with either real fruit or fruit juice so you are still getting some form of nutritional value. And always, always remember to drink plenty of water.
Remember that stressing about your weight on vacation could be counterproductive, so don’t think about it too much. You are, in fact, on vacation. But with healthier dining options and beautiful spa and fitness centers, cruising can now be just as beneficial to your physical health as it has always been for your mental health!