Staying Fit on a River Cruise

So, you’re getting ready to head out on a gorgeous getaway on a river cruise full of breathtaking sights and authentic cuisine - but want some tips on how to stay mindful of your fitness and health along the way? Excellent!

As a certified personal trainer and the Runtastic Fitness Coach, it is my job to help people look and feel their absolute best. Oftentimes people come to me before their wedding, red carpet event or even vacation in order to get in shape. However, the best gifts I can give to my viewers and clients are tips to be able to maintain this level of fitness and level of mindfulness surrounding fitness and health throughout their everyday life- including taking off on vacation.

Here are some useful tips for you to make sure you can stay fit, healthy and active while on a river cruise. 

1. Quick workouts will do

Even if you are used to spending 45 minutes to 1 hour at the gym 3-5x per week, you don’t really need to stress if you don’t have the time or the resources to do so. There are plenty of exercises and workouts you can do with minimal time and no equipment, in the comfort of your own room.

A great way to start your morning can be with 5 minutes of mindful deep breathing and this quick 20 minute total body workout. I really like this workout because it is perfect for travel, targets the entire body AND gets your heart rate up. Short, high intensity workouts like this are great for vacations (and anytime) because they are quick but burn a ton of calories.

If you’re on vacation you’re definitely eating some delicious, potentially high calorie, foods so this type of workout will keep you balanced, energized and fresh.

2. Get moving outdoors . . .

Enjoy a Bike Ride Along the Danube River

Photo by Lunden Souza © 2014

You’re visiting some of the most gorgeous landscapes along the river and there is so much to see. When docking, go for a bike ride. Some of the river cruise ships have bikes onboard. If not, find out where the nearest bike rental location is and rent a bike and explore for a couple hours.

You can go for a relaxing ride or push yourself a bit for something more intense, it’s really up to you. If you don’t have a lot of time to explore, biking is a great way to see as much as you can. If you do have a longer duration of time, almost all places include a bike lock with the bike rental so you can choose to rent them for a day or two and use it as your form of transportation to get to restaurants and different sights you want to see. 

Another great activity that has become increasingly popular is Stand Up Paddling (SUP). You can basically SUP anywhere there is calm water and the river is a great place to do so. Although bike rental places might be easier to access, don’t be afraid to do some research and ask where you can find a place to do stand up paddling. It’s so much fun, much easier than it looks but a great workout and opportunity to move at the same time. Check out this video if you need beginner tips on Stand Up Paddling.

No, I didn’t forget about walking! Getting off the boat and just walking is a great form of exercise. In fact, most cruises offer a tour of each city you visit. You'll walk a ton of steps without even knowing it.

Not the touristy type? Try going on a leisure walk, slow and steady just to appreciate and take in all the great views.

3. Use the facilities on the boat

Sometimes the boat may have a gym or a pool that you can use. If you have access to a gym on board, do exercises that are going to target more than one muscle group at a time so you can workout quickly and efficiently. Some examples are: squat with biceps curl, biceps curl-to-shoulder press & lunge-to-shoulder press. 

Maybe you want to go into the pool for a dip, swim some laps or maybe even some water aerobics. I love working out in the water because it’s low impact and the water creates a very different type of resistance than most of us are used to. In addition, if it’s a gorgeous day it can be a great choice. If you need some ideas for exercises you can do in the water check out my Get Fit in the Pool: Water Aerobics Workout.

4. Stay hydrated!

If there is one thing you can take from this whole article, I would hope it would be this tip. It can be really easy to remember to drink enough water when at home or at the office when it is part of the routine. But oftentimes, we can forget to drink enough water when on vacation (while not forgetting to hydrate with stiffer beverages).

If you’re going to have the wine, beer or cocktails, make sure that you also remember to drink plenty of water throughout your vacation. Keep your cells hydrated and your metabolism functioning properly so you can get the most out of your experience. 

Above all, you want to make sure you are enjoying your river cruise and your vacation. But, we all know that you can never regret a workout and taking the opportunity to move your body. 

Lunden Souza is a certified personal trainer, writer and fitness coach at Runtastic, a world leader in mobile health and fitness. She worked as an in-home personal trainer in Orange County, CA for 5 years and now currently resides in Austria.

Connect with Lunden on Facebook and Twitter or visit her website at Life Like Lunden.

If you're looking for mobile apps to stay fit while traveling, try the Runtastic Six Pack or Fitness App Collection.

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