How to stay fit on a cruise: 4 tips

Well we’ve already talked about the foods to choose when traveling in the previous column. Still it takes more than diet to maintain or lose weight. So I went online to find some healthy habits that I can use whenever I travel.

Mind you, when traveling with kids nutrition falls behind health. Mine and theirs.

I recall a trip to California a few years ago where at some point I picked up a rather unappealing intestinal bug. I couldn’t leave the hotel room and was left so weak I could barely sit up. Good thing Chris was there to take care of Aren because I wasn’t able to.

On another trip, this time to the UK, Chris was struck down with a double blow of jetlag and flu. Aren picked something up at the airport too.

We cannot remove the possibility of falling ill on the road but we can take on some healthy habits to reduce the chances or keep the cases mild. Here are a few we’re going to use:

1. Practice good hygiene

This includes washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your hands to your face especially the nose, eyes and mouth. As a nervous nail-biter this is so very hard for me.

Aren makes lemonade.Bring a collapsible toothbrush and be sure to brush after meals. Stress and dehydration from travel can result in mouth sores. They hurt and take a while to heal.

And take regular showers, especially after enjoying a swim, playing contact sports or soak in the hot tub.

2. Drink lots of water

There’s nothing better for you, it’s a fact. I don’t think I need to badger you about it’s best qualities, but if you need to know more follow this link.

I know what you’re thinking. Water? But I get unlimited soft drinks. I’ll just choose the diet drink. Follow this link to an interesting article in U. S. News about a recent study vilifying fries, chips and soda as causes for obesity.

But I have a sexy solution I picked up from years of crashing hotel spas as a journalist. And writing for Cocktail. Mix the drink.

Not like a bartender, but like a spa-tender. Add flavorful natural items you can find at the salad bar. I like cucumber, carrot sticks and celery. If you find mint, basil or rosemary be sure to pinch it to release the flavor.

If that’s not your thing, get fruity. You can use grapes, apples or melon. Today I took some cherries still on the stem and made a cut like an “X” around the pit and dropped 3 in my water bottle. Yum!

All citrus is good, but if your stomach is sensitive only use the rind or twist the oils from the rind above the glass. This can give a hint of that flavor kick you’re seeking – and it makes the water taste so good you’ll drink more!

3. Move it

I don’t think this will be a problem. We’re going to be on board the Norwegian Epic which is huge. Plus, on top of the two bowling alleys, fitness center and pools we can also visit the Sports Complex featuring two decks to play on with a full-sized basketball court, batting cage, rock climbing wall, the first-ever rappelling wall at sea and a 24-foot enclosed climbing cage.

Kids run in courtyard.Still, even if I never step into the clubs I can still get plenty of exercise just walking the decks and stairs.

As a matter of fact, that might be better. The saying is walk don’t run on the cruise ships because working out hard will make you dehydrated, and dehydration can lead to seasickness.

4. Plan your meals

Choose when to eat and stick to the plan or you might find yourself eating all the time. This is especially true for us as we’ll be “freestyle cruising.”

The most important rules for us are: Eat within an hour of waking – even if it is only an apple or cheese stick and don’t let more than 5 hour go by without some food.

To make sure we stick to the schedule I put dining times into my phone alarm so I remember when to eat, but you may have a better way.

I’ll also grab fruit on my way back to the room at the end of the day. That way I know I have some food nearby in case I wake up before the kids. Like that will happen!

And it’s okay to eat lots of meals, just make sure they stay small and healthy.

Do you have other healthy habits to share? Leave a comment below or email me directly.

[Feature image by Daniel McDermott/ Flickr CC]