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FitCruisingSo you’ve taken the plunge and decided to spend a year cruising the Mediterranean. You imagine yourself lying around in your bikini, living on all that healthy seafood and olives, without picking up an ounce of fat – you could always climb all those steps in Santorini to keep fit right?

Wrong. It is easy to have plans and ideas for staying fit, but once on the water and away from your regular fitness routine, it’s easy to let the cruising lifestyle take over, and fitness falls along the wayside. The first and foremost when setting out for a long term cruise, is to know what keeps you motivated. If yoga is not your thing, for example, don’t pack all those yoga books because you will never open them.

Exercise, Anytime...Anywhere

The easiest way of staying fit on a cruise is walking when docked. Everywhere. When you arrive at shore, don’t catch the first taxi to the local market. Find out where it is, and walk. Need to stock up and worried about having to lug too many grocery bags around? Go again tomorrow and split the load. This is one of the easiest and most simple ways to keep in shape. Of course if the terrain of the destination allows, by all means go for a run whenever possible to get that heart rate up.

Swim Your Heart Out

Another excellent form of exercise always available on a yacht is of course swimming. Swimming offers an excellent cardio workout, while the resistance of the water works those muscles even harder. Take along a snorkel and explore the local marine life – of course only if weather conditions permit!

Go For A Paddle

Kayaking also offers great upper body strength training and is a great way to explore the local shoreline. Do this as often as you can to keep your upper body in tip top shape.

Zen Out On Board

Although the inside of a catamaran is generally small with very limited space, activities such as Pilates and Yoga don’t require a lot of room – just a small space for a mat. Practice some core exercises here such as roll ups and “hundreds”, and bring along a couple of different bands for resistance training as well as a Pilates hedgehog, which can be used for balance training – brilliant core workout.

Step It Up

Another good workout spot in your boat is the steps leading up to the deck. Make a point of doing a set of step workouts once a day to keep your leg strength up. Step exercises are great for your hamstrings and glutes. You are also likely to find plenty of steps on land to supplement this when you are not at sea.

Everybody Jump

Finally, every catamaran has the most perfect place for exercise – think space, comfort and slight balance training – yes, the trampoline. While in stable waters or at port make use of this space for any of your usual exercises. You may get some funny looks from the shore but at least you know you are staying strong and healthy – and best of all, should the boat suddenly rock, you will have a soft landing (even if a somewhat embarrassing one!)

Really there is no excuse for not doing your utmost to maintain your fitness leaves while on the water. While general boat work does give certain muscles a workout, you need to keep engaging with every part of your body to stay strong and healthy. Make exercise a part of your daily routine so that when your year is up and you head back to your regular life (if you can!), you are happy in yourself and ready for the next challenge.

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