5 Tips To Maintain Your Workout Schedule While Cruising

I’m a runner. I love a good running trail, an urban jungle to explore, or even a simple running. However, when I’m traveling, which is a good chunk of my time, I can easily fall out of my running routine.

In many cases, I simply don’t have the right place to run or I’ve left my running gear at home due to lack of space in my bag, and I can say with some certainty that I won’t be running in khakis and t shirt. But most of the time, it’s a caving to the “vacation” mentality that overtakes me when on a cruise – thinking “oh, I’m not home, I’ll run later and enjoy this now”. I think back to my Viking River sailing aboard Viking Lif. As far as I know, there isn’t a river ship with a proper gym, so if I wanted to run, it was gonna be ashore. Docked in Krems, Austria, I spotted a nice trail snaking along the shore and our ship. I geared up to go out, but mistakenly passed the Viking Lounge, where a local chef was demonstrating the art of strudel making. One slice of strudel and four finger sandwiches later, I was wondering if I’d ever go out to run. I eventually did, but was forced to slow my pace due to a full stomach and an unusually scorching Austrian sun. The point I’m trying to make is that the temptations of abandoning our rigorous (or not so) workout routines is strong on the sea. I mean, why should we have to worry about that when we’re on vacation? But, as many of us know, we feel that strudel shame later. So, I’ve found a few easy tips to keep yourself on course while sailing at sea.

#1 Stay on schedule.

The quicker you abandon your routine, the harder it’s going to be to get back in. Keep on schedule and you’ll find it easy to keep pushing on. I jumped ship from my running routine on day 1 in Amsterdam and I didn’t work up the motivation to go again until a week later. The strudel shame was strong.

#2 Find the gym.

Knowing where you’ll want to run or workout is half the battle. When you board your ship, find the gym and if you’re really feeling like it, sign up for some classes or programs. Having something scheduled may end up being the extra motivation you need to get moving. If your ship doesn’t have a gym, check with the concierge or front desk, they should be able to help you find some trails or gyms in your ports of call.

#3 Plan on a time.

Keeping a consistent time for your workouts can help you stay true to your workout plan on vacation. Whether it be before your excursions in the morning, when the sun is high in the sky at noon, or just after dinner under the stars, having a set time will help you keep a consistent routine.

Mike’s thoughts: I love getting up early on a cruise and hitting the gym in the morning for a run or workout. Not only do I catch the sun rising over the horizon, I also feel fueled up and energized for the day ahead.

#4 Find an accountability buddy.

Whether it be one of your traveling partners or a crew member you know really well, they’ll have no problem telling you to put the strudel down and to hit the deck. It’s easier to break from routine when your mind can convince you to just do it another time. Having someone to push you is a nice way to ensure you’re doing your best to be your best.

#5 Find your pump up song.

Sometimes, you just gotta put yourself in the mood. My Spotify is filled with songs that ignite my runner’s high. Find a song that makes you feel like you gotta go run or lift the energy out of you. If tips 1 through 4 fail, a good pump up song should do the trick.

So, how do you keep yourself motivated to stay fit at sea? Or do you relate more with my strudel side? There’s no shame if you do – cruising is all about you and sometimes that strudel will do more good for the soul than a good run will do for the body.




Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.