What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word "cruise?" Chances are, its likely either "food" or "drinks." With more than 12 million people cruising each year from all walks of life, there is one thing many of those people have in common, and that is their anticipation for a fun-filled, food-filled and drink-filled good time. Even the fittest of the fit may overindulge, particularly in the food department considering it's usually all-inclusive.
Luckily, cruise ships today have exercise facilities available to anyone who wishes to use them. They generally consist of free weights, weight machines, cardio machines, mats, and exercise balls. Keep in mind though, onboard gyms can get crowded at peak hours, such as early morning and late afternoon before dinner. So if you want to avoid the "rush," try to go during off-hours. If you're not one to exercise on your own, cruiselines usually offer various group exercise classes you can participate in for a nominal fee. Incidentally, if you're an "outdoors" kind of person, you can take a brisk walk, jog or run on the track (if available), or swim laps in the pool.
You should be mindful of the fact that exercising during your cruise may not guarantee that you won't gain any weight, though it may offset it a bit. According to cruiserreviews.com, the average weight gain on a 7-day cruise is 5-10 pounds. After all, the unlimited food makes it very hard to resist temptation. So if food is your weakness, at least try not to eat late at night. A general suggestion would be to have dinner around 6 and make that your last meal of the day.
And don't forget about those drinks! Soft drinks (except for sparkling water and seltzer) and alcoholic beverages are loaded with empty calories and sugar. A 12 ounce can of Coke contains a whopping 39 grams of sugar. That's equivalent to 10 sugar cubes! Of course it's easy to guzzle down several glasses of ice cold soda while lounging in the hot sun. So consider replacing those sugar-ridden drinks with ice water, and it will keep you from ingesting hundreds of calories a day.
The bottom line is that you always have options. Whether or not you decide to exercise and/or watch what you eat and drink while cruising, is all up to you. Just know that the gym is within reach. Have fun!
NOTE: Get clearance from your health care provider before starting any workout regimen.