10 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy on a Cruise
One of the best things about taking cruises is the cruise food. Where else do you get endless pizza buffets and chocolate fondue fountains all in one place? Not to mention the fine dining and midnight snacking options.
All this indulgence can come at a cost. Passengers can gain as much as a pound per day on a cruise.
Cruise food can also cause stomach upset that interferes with your vacation experience. Here are ten ways to eat healthy while on your cruise – without missing the fun.
How to Enjoy Cruise Food and Stay Healthy Too
1. Skip the Elevators, Walk the Decks
If you don’t need the elevator for assistance, skip them and use the stairs. Cruise ships are massive, and walking the full length of them is an excellent exercise. It’s also a great way to keep your body burning off all the cruise food calories.
Deck walking is an enjoyable activity. A sunset walk means ocean breezes and a gorgeous view. If you have a Fitbit, you’ll be delightfully surprised at how many miles you clock without even leaving the ship.
2. Take the Small Plate
All-you-can-eat stations are tons of fun. The choices are endless, as are the plates. It’s so easy to overdo it with so many incredible options. One tip is to take the smaller side plates rather than the entree dishes.
That limits your portions from the start. Sure, you can always return for seconds. Though, each trip will be smaller. Buffets usually have light choices as well.
If you’re just not feeling like a full meal, but your traveling companion is, you can always opt for fruit and yogurt. Not exciting cruise food, but it lets your tummy settle in time to enjoy the seafood dinner you’re going to have later.
3. Avoid the Buffets Completely
If you find that you just can’t help yourself, you can always skip the buffets altogether. You can choose from some of the smaller restaurants that don’t require reservations.
Those menus offer smaller portions and a la carte items that can give your tummy the break that it needs. Sometimes, a sandwich is all you need.
4. Hit the Gym
Your ship has many ways to work off your cruise food. The gym is just one of them. Working out at the gym is especially helpful after the ship leaves port.
Try working out in the earlier part of the evening, before dinner. You will be less tempted to participate in the midnight buffets after an honest workout and hearty dinner.
If the gym isn’t for you, there’s always the pool, running track, rock climbing wall, and so on.
5. Choose Shore Adventures Rather than Tours
A great way to balance food and white indulgences is to choose shore excursions that require physical activity. This isn’t the time to try something challenging to your fitness level.
You can choose any number of activities that you will find enjoying. Snorkeling, hiking, climbing, and zip lining are all popular shore excursions. Even a day at the beach counts, as long as you spend some of your time walking or swimming.
6. Don’t Skip the Dance Parties
Some of the entertainment options on board are also great exercise. Dance lessons or the more informal dance parties are a lot of fun. They are also a way to keep your metabolism going.
The goal is to have fun, after all. But, a happy by-product is calorie-burning! You don’t really have to worry about what to eat or not eat if you’re keeping active during your days and evening.
7. Keep Up With Your Water Intake
Keeping hydrated is important anytime. It’s also a must so that you don’t make yourself sick while on your cruise. Tropical cruises can be hot. You’ll want to carry water with you during excursions and even during onboard activities.
Another reason to carry water with you from the ship is that the local tap water is not what your body is used to. It may not even be safe to drink.
On board, there are plenty of water stations where you can refill your thermos. Drinking water may seem like a no-brainer. Though, consider all that you are doing on a cruise besides just the weather.
You are doing fun and exciting things and may forget about hydration. Cruises ship offer free tea and coffee. Those have caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and can actually lead to dehydration.
Alcohol is another culprit. It’s always best to have a water chaser after a few drinks. Finally, cruise food (as delicious as it is) is often saltier than you are used to.
All the more reason to drink plenty of water to keep your system hydrated and clean.
8. Alternate Between Heavy and Light Dining
You will eat some of your meals at the specialty restaurants. Those require reservations. So, you’ll know which meals those will be. Plan accordingly. If you know you will have a seven-course meal that evening, have a light lunch.
Or, if your family wants a hearty pancake breakfast in the morning, make your lunch and dinner simple. Extra calories aren’t the only consideration here.
Overeating can make you feel sluggish or cause heartburn. That puts a damper on your day.
9. Skip the Late-Night Snack Bars
Just about every cruise ship has midnight buffets or some other twenty-four-hour food event. Most people don’t respond well to any food after midnight, much less heavy foods like burgers and cheesecake.
One in a while, it’s fun to watch the chocolate fountain flow at 1:00 a.m. Though, one dipped strawberry is enough to say you’ve “been there, done that.”
10. Get Some Rest
So far, these tips have recommended ways to eat less and exercise more. Cruises are also about relaxation. Take advantage of the comfortable lounges. Take a nap in your cabin if you feel like it.
The spa also offers relaxing massages, not to mention fabulous hot tubs and saunas.
Most importantly, get enough sleep at night so you can enjoy your days. This will also help keep your metabolism regulated and calm.
Enjoying Cruise Food
We hope this does not deter you from indulging in the wonderful cruise food offered during your trip. On the contrary, the point is to enjoy dining as one of the many luxuries of cruising.
Applying a little moderation and balance will hopefully keep your waistline from expanding, and keep you out of sickbay!
For more cruise tips, please continue to visit our blog.