These are my top 20 tips for staying healthy on a cruise ship, so you don’t get ill or put on loads of weight. Would I use most of them? Of course not – it’s a holiday! But they’re here for you if you want to be sensible, unlike me.
Hit The Gym – This should be obvious but by making sure you take advantage of the exercise equipment on-board your ship you’ll be able to make sure you keep your fitness levels up.
Swim In The Pool – Dive in! Your pool may not be big enough for lengths but by making the most of whatever space you have, either with swimming around or by treading water, you’ll burn plenty of calories.
Take The Stairs – Why wait around for the lift so that you can be crammed in with others, when you can do the healthy thing and climb the stairs? It’s not hard – get it done.
One Buffet Plate – I know it’s tempting (trust me, I know) but you do not need to keep going back to the buffet. One plate is enough for you to get a nice breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Eat Healthier Foods – Again this is obvious, but swap that really thick and heavy chocolate dessert for some fruit, or that fatty main course with something more salad-based, or a fish course. Not necessarily every day, but consider it for some of your meals.
Slow Down Your Eating – One of the worst things with a buffet that you can do is ‘rush eat’. Since you won’t start feeling full for 15-20 minutes after you’ve inhaled your first visit, you may want to keep eating. Don’t. Savour the food – it’s good, so it’s worth doing.
Try Active Excursions – Don’t lounge around on-board when you reach your ports, get out there and explore – a walking tour is a relaxing way to see some of the great sights of the world.
Try Very Active Excursions – Why tour on foot when you can tour on bicycle? Go snorkelling, or in some ports even scuba diving, or try a hike through magnificent countryside or forests.
Take Part In Fitness Classes – These days you can try all sorts of things on-board. Give yoga a go, trust me, I’d never tried it before but it is really actually very good. Or there’s Pilates. I’ve not tried that one but it’s everywhere these days so must be good.
Learn To Dance – I’m not saying you can’t dance already but there’s no harm in giving lessons a try. Ballroom dancing is a fun way to give yourself a work out, whether it’s the Foxtrot, the Tango or the Fandango (look, I don’t know ballroom dances…they sound right).
Unwind With A Spa Treatment – Ah, absolute bliss, get yourself down to the spa on the ship for a massage or some acupuncture. You’ll feel relaxed and at ease, which will help keep you happy and feeling much better.
Play Sports – Some modern ships have quite advanced sporting facilities on-board so you can try a competitive game. Whether it’s basketball, mini-tennis, football, boxing or ice-skating, you can get the adrenaline flowing.
Drink Less – Do you really need that fifth margarita? Or that sugary cola with your lunch?
Drink More – Have you kept yourself hydrated by drinking enough water?
Wash Your Hands – One of the worst things is when your cruise holiday, or indeed any holiday, is ruined by you getting ill. Don’t risk it – keep your hands clean regularly to avoid picking up other people’s germs.
Ditch Room Service – It’s tempting to take it easy but if you want to stay healthy, don’t be ordering any room service. Go and get your own food!
Wear Sunscreen – I don’t want to sound like your mother but if you’re on a cruise there’s a good chance that you’ll be heading somewhere with good weather. Why risk burning yourself and having to stay in your cabin? Get the suntan lotion on.
Stand Up For Slot Machines – If you’re going to gamble, and want to play on the slot machines, keep yourself that slight bit more active by standing to play rather than perching yourself on a stool. Small thing but it’ll help.
Seek Professional Advice – From medical personal when you’re not sure you’re feeling well to personal trainers helping to keep you in top shape during your holiday, cruise lines employ staff to make sure you have a happy and healthy time. Use them.
Relax – Just make sure you have a good time. This is so beneficial to your overall health.
By Ian Lewis