Easy Ways to Stay Fit on a Cruise Ship
Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways
Staying fit on a cruise may sound like an oxymoron, what with the seemingly endless eating and perpetual lounging about, but it is certainly not impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle onboard should you choose.
Take it from me. I’ve been cruising my entire life, and I’m heavier because of it. However, I’ve also managed to lose weight recently by being more active while on ships, and it’s easier than you might think. In fact, Royal Caribbean International’s new Harmony of the Seas is so big as the largest ship in the world that I walked eight miles in just a few hours while capturing all of the ship in photos and video.
Of course, Royal Caribbean also boasts some of the best fitness centers at sea and even partnered up with athlete and adventurer Dhani Jones as a Quantum experience advisor when developing its Quantum of the Seas and sister ships to follow. He helped to innovate new active programming from the ship’s SeaPlex to its Sports Deck. Plus, Carlos PenaVega and friends, dancer Emma Slater and Alec the Trainer, recently tested the facilities onboard the Anthem of the Seas for a fit adventure of their own.
But for a regular cruiser like me and you, even simple steps can literally make a world of difference. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator on any ship, particularly the larger and taller ones, can burn off tons of calories alone. State-of-the-art fitness centers are great, but any movement helps, and it’s certainly more scenic to take a stroll around the promenade deck or some circuits on the jogging track than it usually is back at home.
Shore excursions also offer more opportunities to stay active, from hiking to kayaking, and some lines offer bicycle options on land as well. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Windstar Cruises are two on the oceans, and AmaWaterways and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection are two on the rivers. Expedition cruises are also more inherently active as another choice for adventurers keen to stay fit onboard and off. As on any sailing, the beauty is you can do as much or as little as you please.
Food definitely plugs into the equation as well, and thankfully cruise lines are increasingly conscious of offering healthier menu options for their guests throughout. Also, spa cafes that specifically serve low-calorie items are more prevalent on ships, the new Harmony of the Seas included. That’s not to say you shouldn’t still try those decadent desserts from time to time, but rather enjoy everything, just in moderation. Small choices make a big difference.
For millennials like me, consideration for healthy lifestyles is ever more important to attracting our generation, and cruise lines are definitely mindful of this fact as programming and facilities reflect new needs. So strap on your Fitbit or Apple Watch and start tracking those steps towards a healthier cruise vacation.
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