10 Tips To Stay Fit And Healthy On A Cruise

20 September 2016
Read Time: 2.5 mins

It doesn’t matter whether this is your first cruise and you’re wanting to make sure you continue your usual balance of healthy eating, or if you’re the real McCoy champion cruiser who has decided it might be time to dial down at the buffet because those cruising shorts aren’t going to fit for much longer.

By following a couple of simple guidelines on your cruise you will easily be able to stay in shape or even take your break as a good time to kick start some new healthy habits. In fact, if you think of your cruise ship as a sailing wellness sanctuary instead of a floating bar and restaurant, you may even leave in better shape than when you first left dry land.

 Start the day on the upper deck running track. Photo: Getty Images.

1. Don’t drink all of your calories

Don’t go to over the top on the alcohol. While there’s ample opportunity to drink and some fabulous drink packages, one trick is to allot one part of the day when you decide to drink rather than constantly sipping on sugary cocktails throughout the day. You could have a boozy lunch one day and pop a bottle of bubbles at sunset on another day rather than doing both in one day.

2. Don’t drink all of your calories - part II

Hidden calories aren’t just lurking in alcohol but in soft drinks and juices too. Stick to water, tea and coffee which are complimentary anyway on most cruise ships.

3. Stick to your normal eating habits

When there are long snaking buffets and four-course meals to indulge in it can be difficult to not pile your plate sky high or order two desserts and an extra appetizer. However the easiest way stay on track is to choose one meal a day to indulge a little in. Even better if you can make that lunch so you can work off the extra calories with an afternoon walk around the upper deck track.

4. Speaking of indulging

If you plan on having a few wines at dinner, it might be an idea to skip dessert. Choose your indulgences in moderation and don’t tread too far outside your normal food/alcohol consumption.

5. Plan your fitness journey from the beginning

When you first arrive on the ship and have some downtime before your luggage arrives, check out the fitness center to see what classes will be on offer for your cruise. While you might not want to hit the gym everyday, there are a number of other ways that you can get that 30 to 60 minutes of exercise in. Many cruises offer everything from yoga to pilates, boot camp, rock climbing, cycling and even boxing. For runners there’s often even a running track on the upper deck.


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6. Get active on shore adventures

There are so many different options to get the blood pumping on a shore adventure especially for island based cruising. From paddle boarding and water skiing to kayaking and snorkeling. For more land based active adventures, there’s bike tours and sometimes even escorted runs around historical landmarks. Now that’s a memorable way to see a city.

7. Take the stairs

Pretend that the elevators don’t exist and always take the stairs (if possible) when moving around the ship.

 There are so many fun ways to keep active while on a cruise. Photo: Getty Images.

8. Stick to a routine

If you normally run at 6am before work at home, keep doing that or if you normally follow an exercise programme, bring that with you and hit the gym. It’ll be easier to keep fit and healthy when you stick to your regular exercise routine as much as possible.

9. Grab a healthy snack

To tide you over in between main mealtimes rather than overeating large meals that make you feel sluggish and overstuffed afterwards. Most buffets offer a selection of healthy fruit to take with you for in-between meals.

10. Beware of going overboard

On salad dressing and toppings at the buffet! If you decide to have a salad for lunch, reach for things like salmon, cucumber and tomatoes and go easy on the calorie heavy sauces and toppings like caesar dressing, nuts and croutons.


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Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a Flight Centre travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.