It is no big secret that I’m not what you would call a “fitness freak.” To be honest. I have never been near a gym in my life for anything other than taking pictures. I like to walk and spend a lot of time taking my dog through the country park near my home; that is my favorite form of exercise, but obviously I can’t take my dog onboard with me – so that is somewhat of an issue.
Because I know I am not alone in my quest for non-fitness, I decided to do a fitness blog for those that simply can’t stand the gym and would much rather spend their days lounging in the sun and their evenings propping up the bar – which to me sounds absolutely perfect! I thought the title was perfect: Get Fit and Stay Away from the Gym
First and foremost one great way to keep the knee joints working is to use the stairs onboard wherever possible. If you only have to walk up a few decks then leave the elevator behind and when going down, always use the stairs. It doesn’t sound much but every little helps, as they say. Don’t feel you have to use the elevator to go up 9 or 10 decks – even I wouldn’t do that! I tried it once and thought it was in serious medical danger by the time I made it to the top.
Walk around the promenade deck at least once a day. You don’t have to run or jog – just simply enjoy a slow stroll. If you need something a bit more stimulating, then try the lido deck. You may even find a lounger or two to jump over, this adding even more to your fitness experience. 😉
One of my favorite things to do is to walk the length of the ship via the lido deck, especially if I am heading back to my cabin in the evening. Walking along the cabin deck can be so boring – door after door and nothing to engage one’s mind. But take the same route via the lido deck, and it’s like a party for your eyes! You are walking the same distance, but with far more to admire. Plus you don’t feel like you have just landed in a remake of the movie The Shining – which is always an added bonus.
When out on the open deck during the day or in the evening, try and get up and order your drink instead of waiting for the bartender to come to you. OK, your sunbed may only be 12 feet from the nearest bar, but walking those 12 feet every time you want a drink is way better than sitting there and letting someone bring it to you.
One of my favorite ships is P&O Cruises’ Oceana. When on that ship, there are two places I love to spend time – the deck above the bridge and right up top on deck 15 mid-ships at the Penant Bar.
What has this got to do with fitness? Well, they are two places I make the effort to venture to every single day when I am onboard, even if it is just to stretch my legs and take a break from the sunbathing. On a cruise back in May, I decided to spend my days aft; this meant I had to walk the full length of the ship in order to get to my two favorite places. The sun became a bit too much and I decided to head off for a walk.
My first stop was the Penant Bar. I knew one of the waiters up there so I stood and chatted with him for a few minutes before moving on to my next stop. I spent a long time standing in each place, watching the world go by, but when I returned to my bag, which I had left at the back of the ship with new friends I had made, I had been away for over an hour. I done three laps of the upper deck and was up and down numerous flights of stairs. It felt good!
If there is one thing I can’t do, it is sit on my backside day after day and do absolutely nothing. I get bored, my knees ache and I become agitated. I may not do a lot on the ship or visit the gym, but when I am ashore I walk everywhere.
I really do believe it is all about balance. I don’t overeat or fill myself full of junk food every day. I walk as much as possible when ashore; onboard, I just do one or two little things to top it up. You don’t have to break a sweat in the gym every day to keep yourself healthy and fit.