Thursday, February 11, 2010

Running on a Cruise Ship

Just getting back from a family trip on a cruise ship through the Bahamas that kept me off the grid for over a week. The experience gave me a chance to give some good tips when trying to find a way to keep in shape while on vacation.

First off, I'm not advocating that if you have plans on taking a cruise in the coming months that you must plan on running to keep yourself in shape. There is nothing wrong with taking off a week of downtime. You need keep a balance so that you don't burn out.

But for anyone looking for tips on staying in shape through a week on a cruise ship, here are some good tips.

All good cruise ships will have a running track, many with the red stripe painted right on the deck. You will need to remember that walkers share this running track with you. Most times this running track is on one of the top decks, away from the cabin decks or party areas for obvious reason. Take note to try to remember the following when accessing the track:

-Run before or at the time of the sun rising. Most times this is early in the morning and few folks are out there using the decks for their walks, or at least not a lot of them.

-Walkers have the right of way unless this is solely designated for running only. So don't lose patience with those that are keeping in shape by doing their morning walk.

-Also, you will find that if you are docked and people are out or preparing for their excursions, that the running track will be more open than other times of the day.

-Don't even think of speed during this week. Even if the track is completely open, there are way too many turns and closed spaces where you can hurt yourself. Consider this as part of your vacation downtime.

Other ideas for keeping in shape:

-I did a couple of walks when I went into the small towns on my excursions. You get to see a part of the city that guides don't normally take you to, and are away from the main streets/stores that they are trying to take you to. I'm pretty sure I ended up seeing homes where the drug cartels hide (at least the German Sheppard's and security gates gave this effect). But the view from the town of the hills right outside the town gave me a view I wouldn't have got without actually living there for a while.

-All good cruises have spinning classes, yoga, weight rooms, etc. to plug in an hour here and there, not really too hard to find an activity you'll like.

-I know some of you are wondering why I haven't brought up running on a treadmill while on the cruise. My experience has been that it has been difficult for me to take advantage of treadmills when on a cruise. When the ship is cruising (moving) the motion of the water tend to make me run into the hand rail on the front of the treadmill just to keep my balance. One of the only times I got sick on a cruise was from this constant 'catching myself' and then trying to get back into a rhythm of running. When the ship is docked, I still felt a rolling motion on the treadmill. It could be something with the way I run, but the treadmill is my last choice. But weather may give you this as the only option.

Anyway, hope you find this helpful if you are fortunate enough to have a cruise planned in the coming year.

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