Keeping fit at sea

Just 25 years ago, if you visited a cruise ship gym it would have been a converted stateroom low down in the ship, equipped only with a couple of rusty exercise bikes and dumbbells. Fast-forward to this modern era of cruising, however, and there are all manner of ways to get a workout. Here are some tips on how to keep fit at sea.

Walk everywhere
You’d be surprised how many kilometres you’ll cover walking on a ship, in particular a big ship. Make a point of walking to dinner, to the show afterwards, to and from your stateroom each day, using the stairs instead of the elevator to keep your body in shape while working off some of that cruise food!

Join in activities
Check your daily program to see what activities are on offer, such as group morning walks on deck, sunrise tai chi and calorie-burning classes such as country ‘n’ western or ballroom dancing. It’s not only a way to get fit and keep in shape, but also a great way to get social with your fellow cruise mates and make some new friends.

Make use of the fitness facilities
Most ships have a gym these days, ranging from small to impressive, with a wide range of facilities including a fitness studios for organised classes. Typical equipment available includes exercise bikes, elliptical machines, weight machines, and free weights. If the gym is not your thing, however, you can also try an aerobics, spin or yoga class, or try something new; cruise lines such as Princess offer high energy Zumba classes, Carnival has its Bootcamp at Sea, and many ships also offer Pilates. Also your ship has a good-sized swimming pool, you can swim laps.

Explore ashore on foot or on a bike
If you’re not planning to take any of the organised tours while cruising, why not explore on foot if you dock or anchor near sightseeing areas or the centre of town? This is a great way to get some exercise, as well as discover off-the-beaten-track places you may not find on an organised tour. On some river cruise ships bicycles are available for guests to use, providing another fun way to get around as well as to explore.  

DIY exercise
You don’t need to go to a gym to workout, so why not pack a DVD of your favourite exercise routine from home to use in your stateroom. Many accommodations have DVD players, or you can play the DVD on a computer. Other useful exercise gadgets to consider packing include your own exercise bands, or an iPad or smartphone with an exercise program built into an app.

Book an active excursion
Some shore tours are categorised as ‘active’ and either involve you being active or climbing stairs etc, which is another great way to work out while enjoying a new destination. Examples include walking tours, hiking in a forest in Alaska, or hiking a rainforest in the Caribbean.

Watch your diet
With food available on demand 24/7, it can be tricky sticking to your diet when you’re away from home, but overdoing it means paying for it later with excess weight. Play it safe and stick to what you eat and drink at home as much as you can, limiting treats such as desserts to dinner only, while avoiding snacks. Also keep an eye on your alcohol intake, as this is extra calories too, And remember, it’s not compulsory to eat your pillow chocolate at night.


To find out more about cruising or to find the cruise of your dreams within your budget, visit

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -