Staying fit on a cruise may not be your priority, but here are 8 ways to stay fit on a cruise that are relatively easy, hopefully you can keep the extra pounds and stiffening joints at bay. Pack comfortable shoes and stretchy clothes and give some of these ideas a try….
1. Use the gym
Most ships have gyms, which will probably be closer to your cabin than your local leisure centre is to your house. So, if you are a regular gym goer…no excuse, and if not….why not give it a try? Go for a look around and induction on the first day when everyone is new to the ship and no one will know that it’s your first time.
2. Take a fitness class
If the gym is not for you, consider attending any fitness classes such as yoga or pilates. Some of these may be complimentary, some may have a small charge. Most are early in the morning! Watch out for times in your daily newsletter.
3. Jog or run
Most of the larger ships have designated jogging or running tracks around one of the top decks. Use may be restricted to certain times of the day, either to avoid more crowded times or times when people may be sleeping in the cabins below. On smaller ships running may be allowed on the promenade deck.
You can also run when in port or maybe find an outdoor gym. We saw a few of these near ports on our last cruise, for example this one at the port of Malaga, which was a 10 min walk from the ship.
Some ports may be better for running onshore than others – check on Google Earth or ask the gym staff onboard for their thoughts.
4. Use the sports facilities
Depending on the size of your ship, this may be anything from a gentle game of croquet or bowls to a dip in the pool, practising your golf swing or a game of tennis.
Most cruises have some type of dance class, whether it’s line dancing or ballroom. It’s a particularly good way to exercise on a sea day and a ship full of people you don’t know is the perfect place to learn anything new without the risk of embarrassing yourselves too much! Whether you are already proficient or not, there are, of course, plenty of opportunities to strut your stuff on the dance floor.
6. Climb the stairs
Not possible for everyone, we know, but do avoid the lifts if you possibly can, even if by the end of a busy day they do start to look like an enticing option! Apart from anything else some stairs just cry out to be walked up (or down if you must), as these on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth certainly do.
Many cruise ships have attractive artwork on the staircases too, which you would otherwise miss, for example this picture of our home port of Liverpool spotted on a stairway on Queen Elizabeth.
7. Eat in the restaurant, not in the buffet
If you lack willpower when it comes to cruise buffets, stick to dining in the restaurant when possible – there may be numerous courses but at least they are portion controlled and you won’t be tempted to go back for seconds! Sharing a table with fellow passengers will encourage you to concentrate more on the conversation and less on the food.
The larger the ship, the more likely you are to have to walk further to get to where you need to be and the more likely you are to get lost whilst trying to find it! Try the long route for added exercise. Take advantage of nice weather by walking on the promenade deck as often as possible, as suggested on our previous blog Why choose a ship with a promenade deck?
And finally, walk as much as you can when onshore. Doing your own thing rather than booking an excursion can be the first step to making this happen – see our ideas for each port on www.mediterranean-cruise-advice.com