If you’re planning a cruise for your next vacation, you’re probably wondering what effects it might have on your health and your waistline. First-time cruisers may not know exactly what to expect and are usually full of questions. Knowing what’s in store can help you prepare for your upcoming journey and give you ideas of what you should pack. If you’re getting ready to set sail, here are six ways to stay as healthy as possible on your exciting cruise.
1. Exercise While on Board
You’ve probably heard stories about people that have gone on cruises only to return home 10-15 pounds heavier than when they left. That doesn’t have to happen to you. With all the activities you’ll find onboard a cruise, you’re more likely to lose weight than to gain it. Cruise ships have gyms, exercise classes and swimming pools. There’s also plenty of room to walk and run on deck, and the stunning views will motivate you to work out harder
2. Protect Yourself From the Sun
Staying healthy on a cruise isn’t just limited to diet and fitness. You also need to protect yourself from the sun’s dangerous UV rays since you’ll be spending so much time outside. If you’re headed off on a tropical vacation, such as an exciting Mexico cruise, you’ll want to pack a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. Be sure to bring a travel-sized bottle, too, for on-showre excursions. Other ways to protect yourself include wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
3. Opt for Restaurants Instead of Buffets
One of the most attractive selling points of cruises is the availability of food at any time of the day or night. Unfortunately, that can also be your biggest downfall if you’re watching your weight. Because you’re on vacation, you should definitely take advantage of all the exotic cuisine, but opt for restaurants instead of buffets. People always overeat at buffets, waste food and leave feeling sick to their stomachs. Instead, choose restaurants where you can enjoy a gourmet meal with more sensible portions.
4. Choose Active Shore Excursions
Another fun way to combat calories and stay healthy on a cruise is to choose shore excursions that keep you moving. Depending on your specific ports of call, you can take part in biking, swimming with the dolphins, hiking to ancient ruins or just running around on the beach. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a seated bus tour, interactive tours allow you to get in touch with nature and stay fit at the same time. To get the most out of these tours, bring along a small backpack so you can travel hands-free.
5. Keep Yourself Hydrated
With all the beverages available on a cruise ship, don’t forget to hydrate your body with plain ice water. Fancy cocktails and soft drinks might taste good at the moment, but they’re loaded with calories and both are dehydrating. Water is readily available all over a cruise ship and is perfectly safe to drink. Whether you plan on exercising, walking around the ship or just lounging around with a book, pack a refillable water bottle to tote around. For shore excursions, ask if you’re allowed to take water.
6. Prevent Bouts of Seasickness
If you’re prone to car sickness or carnival rides bother you, you could be at risk for seasickness. Getting seasick on a cruise is rare because ships have stabilizers that make for a smooth ride. However, going through a storm or rough waters could trigger a bout. To be on the safe side, pack Dramamine and try to reserve a room on a lower deck close to the center of the ship. If you get sick, you can always visit the ship doctor for help.
Going on a cruise doesn’t mean you have to ruin your diet or your health. By keeping active, staying hydrated and eating normal-sized meals, you’ll return healthier and happier than ever.