• Healthy Cruising

    April 13, 2012

    Hello CNC Readers! This is Monica from Run Eat Repeat. I met Tina many moons ago and somehow convinced her to be my friend in real life.

    Since she’ll be cruising soon, I am here to offer some unsolicited advice on staying healthy while on a cruise ship full o’ food and booze.

    I think we’ve all heard about people who diet to look good on their cruise vacation, then come back home 10 pounds heavier because there was SO MUCH GOOD FOOD on the ship!

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    Well, it’s true. You can eat at a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus there are all those delicious (and dangerous), tropical drinks!

    I went on a cruise in October and managed to take a few notes on how to stay healthy while cruising…

    1. Stay Active! There is a full gym and walking track on every cruise ship. Most ships also offer group fitness classes like yoga and spinning (sign up before as they fill up). You don’t have to spend 2 hours in the gym while on vacation, but knowing you’re going to exercise in the morning might make you reconsider that 3rd (or 7th) cocktail.

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    If you can, try to wrangle your cruise-mate to join you at the gym once or twice. I never get to workout with my friends, so this was a treat!

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    2. Pace yourself. This time I’m not referring to running – we’re talking eating. If 2 out of 3 of your meals will be buffets most of the week you have the freedom to be picky. If you can have it any ol’ day, skip it. If you don’t love it, leave it on your plate.

    There are a ton of healthy options (and unhealthy ones too).

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    You can pile up on the veggies and fruit before hitting up the pizza bar.

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    When you are at a sit down meal, order what you want and pay attention to your fullness cues. I tried Baked Alaska for the first time on my cruise and didn’t really like it, so I took a few bites and moved on.

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    But, I devoured a sweet potato pot pie. Totally worth it!

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    3. Stay Hydrated. Enjoy your favorite adult beverage but remember those calories add up fast. Try to pace yourself by sipping water in between each alcoholic drink while at the pool. At dinner try to nurse your wine to last until dessert.

    *Note: Just because your drink is clear, doesn’t mean it’s water Winking smile

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    4. LIVE! Get lost in a good book while lounging by the pool. Go on a fun excursion. Participate in the afternoon Bingo session. Dance! Take in all the sights and smells and sounds of the cruise. It’s healthy for your soul.

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    Bonus tip: The Jersey Turn-pike move burns tons of calories. Yeah buddy.

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    5. Pack Sunblock, not guilt. Sure, I just gave you 4 tips on how to stay healthy on a cruise but above everything else you should ENJOY your vacation and not feel guilty about indulging. Work hard, play hard, right?

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    Now, I’ll be cruising along back to Run Eat Repeat… See ya later!

    How do you stay healthy on vacation?

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    { 15 comments… read them below or add one }

    crista April 13, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Great tips! and love the pictures too 🙂 On vacation I try to really pack in the fruit first thing in the morning, if the first things I eat are fruit and vegetables, by the time I have a vacation meal like lunch or a decadent dinner, I’m full of fiberous water filled fruit and veg, then I enjoy whatever my heart desires. If I pack or grocery shop my own bananas, apples, carrots and cucumbers it cuts down on $$ too!


    Desiree April 13, 2012 at 6:30 am

    I took the stairs the whole time while cruising. Plus I ran on the track to the morning sunrise. Beautiful and so worth the early wake up. Enjoy 🙂


    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio April 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    You’re too funny Monica! Good tips!


    Annette@FitnessPerks April 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Awesome tips!! I’ve never been on a cruise, but I really want to go! This makes me want to go even more–I’ve heard there is all-you can eat ice cream. Pretty sure I’d hit that up for b-fast, lunch, and dinner 🙂 HAH.

    But in all seriousness–I love your approach and tips!


    Beka April 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Nice post Monica! I’ll be applying these to my own cruise in 2 weeks 🙂


    Erika@YouJustDidWhat April 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I’ve never been on a cruise before…this makes me really want to go.
    One day…


    Christine @ Oatmeal Bowl April 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    So glad I don’t need to worry about that. Cruises scare me. 😉
    But those are great tips Monica! Happy Friday.


    The Healthy Engineer April 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    The pictures aren’t working for me 🙁 I love the post, but lately the site hasn’t been working! But it seems like it’s just me finding this problem.


    pluvk April 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    @The Healthy Engineer: No, it’s not just you. I can’t see the photos either. 🙁


    Anne @strawberryjampackedlife April 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    On our cruise we NEVER took the elevator. It gave my calves a good workout, but I think it helped contribute to us not gaining any weight.


    Luv What You Do April 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one who took healthy notes on my last cruise. I have dancing pictures too!

    It’s total possible especially with all of the hiking, dancing, and exploring!


    Hilary April 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I would add take the stairs as much as possible. I cruised and my cabin was 10 floors own from th buffet, and I never took the elevator…combined with trips to the gym, those stairs kept me for packing on the cruise pounds!


    Julia April 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    thanks monica!!


    Alyssa (factsandflax) April 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Great tips! Now I need a cruise to use them on 😉


    CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com April 16, 2012 at 9:45 am

    My husband and i LOVE to cruise and you are right…there are a ton of unhealthy options but most ships now have “healthy choices” designated by little symbols on the menu and buffets are great, but sometimes it is really nice to have a leisurely meal in the dining room.
    Also, there are plenty of excursions in ports that involve physical activity and are super fun! we did a hike and zip line tour that was awesome, and something we could have never experienced in our hometown.
    but i do like your tip of just relax and enjoy yourself. vacations should be full of fun, not guilt 🙂


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