Tips for Staying Healthy on a Cruise Ship

Having a holiday on a cruise ship is an ideal way to relax, unwind, and create fun and fond memories. You can indulge yourself on all the amenities that offer relaxation and enjoyment, and not to mention copious amounts of food and drink!

Is there a downside to that? Well, there is. First of all, that indulgence may cause you to gain a few extra pounds. You may feel more burdensome by the time you walk off the cruise ship than you did when you first boarded. You may notice that even after spending only a few nights onboard.

It is easy to get tempted to lead a sedentary lifestyle while staying on the cruise ship. But you do not have to! You can still enjoy a fantastic cruise holiday and still feel light and healthy at the end of your vacation.

Other people end up getting sick and may get themselves quarantined on their holiday! It may be that they are seasick, hit by cold ocean winds, or got ill due to buffet food that’s gone bad. Other common diseases are contagious and even life-threatening: influenza, hepatitis A and norovirus, and most of these illnesses are caused by consuming contaminated food and water or staying in tightly enclosed spaces.

For the backpackers who travel alone (or in twos) on a cruise, taking care of themselves may be more manageable. But if you’re going on a cruise with the family, there are kids that give you additional source of worry. Infants, toddlers and younger children are more susceptible to infections, and that is the reason alone that you should constantly check on their condition. 

Check out the following tips to stay healthy on a cruise while still manage to have fun at the same time:

1. Do a lot of walking when you can.

A lot of modern cruise ships feature multiple stories. Elevators and escalators enable you to get from one floor to another effortlessly, which means you cannot use your feet a lot. Not using the “lifts” means you can use flights of stairs to go up and down the cruise ship. If a restaurant, a bar, or an evening entertainment is at the other end of the ship to your cabin, make it a habit to walk back and forth along the ship’s length a few times a day.

You can walk around on the ship’s deck as a form of exercise when you have the chance. Use the elevators and escalators only when necessary.

2. Choose the restaurant over the buffet.

The sight of a buffet table alone filled to the brim with food and beverages is a sure temptation. Buffet food is usually hearty and fattening. But buffet food is also notorious for its questionable quality – meals in trays sit out for a long time, which makes them more prone to germs and bacteria. But despite those unsavory facts plus the long queues many passengers still choose to eat there.

One sure thing when you go to the buffet you tend to overeat. You are tempted to pile three or four meals onto your plate because your gluttony eyes tell you to do so, even though your stomach can only handle so much food. The result is horrible food wastage, not to mention a tremendously guilty feeling afterward. Another, mixing different types of food on your plate will most likely give you a combo of disease causing germs and bacteria.

So instead of going to a buffet, choose to eat in a restaurant, where you’ll have more control over what you’ll eat. You may order a full three course meal, but the portions are smaller, and the food is healthy, delicious and of excellent quality. The restaurant staff cooks your meals with the cleanest and safest preparation.

Another advantage of eating in a restaurant is freshly cooked meals. Chefs cook and prepare your food as you order them, which means less likelihood of them sitting out on the table and acquiring disease causing germs and bacteria.

The portions are just right as well they will make your stomach full enough without making you feel bloated. Your digestive system works hard, so do not abuse it by eating too much, or else you will end up with a painful stomach. If you have dietary concerns, you may request the chefs to plan a meal for you in advance (preferably a day before).

3. Keep yourself active

Thankfully, almost all cruise ships offer onboard facilities such as gyms, as well as rock walls and even running tracks. Depending on the boat, you can find either indoor and outdoor gyms. Many cruise ships also offer fitness and meditation classes such as yoga, pilates, and sculpting (indoor or outdoor), which come complete with facilities and certified trained instructors. Most of these fitness classes require a paid membership.

4. Don’t wind up in sickbay

Exposure to enclosed spaces such as cruise ship cabins, corridors, and dining halls may cause you to acquire several diseases such as colds, flu, gastrointestinal diseases, and hepatitis A.

Prevention is indeed better than cure. Before setting out to your sea voyage, make sure you get immunization shots against influenza or hepatitis A virus. When onboard, always wash your hands to reduce the risk of getting infected. Avoid shaking hands or touching the handrails. But if you have, immediately apply a hand sanitizer, or again (and better), wash your hands. Always take your vitamins and supplements as your additional safeguard against infection. Bring a pack of disposable surgical masks as well, to cover your mouth and nose.

If motion sickness is usually your concern, especially when you’re on transit, always pack your medicine such as pills or ointments (the best ones being peppermint and ginger essential oils). Avoid reading or looking at your laptop or tablet while you are sitting at the deck, as these activities can trigger motion sickness. Get plenty of good night’s sleep; a well-rested body and mind will make you less susceptible to feeling sick. And last but not least, do not forget your travel insurance! It will serve as your protection in case something happens.

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