Travel Fitness and Cruise Ship Fitness: Improve Your Fitness (Program)

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

On a recent cruise I was at the ship’s fitness centre every day, because I needed to practice some training programs for workshops.
Day in and day out I witnessed a classical fitness scenario, lots of movement with little effect, and decided to do a tiny travel fitness tutorial, as it is possible to double your workout investment in half the time.

At sea fitness centre

The cruise ship fitness centre had lots of machines, some free weights and ample space for floorwork, but also the typical ‘fitness scene’ throughout the week:
Women at the cardio machines (not for hours, though, due to a 20 minute time limit) and on the floor doing 100’s of 80’s callanetics exercises, while the men where at the fitness machines working out.

Optimal travel fitness: It is time to move on. You want to trim and tone?
You must crank up exercise quality. You will get twice the effect in half the time!
This can be done with bodyweight exercises or with machine exercises.
A travel fitness program can be done in a very short time, 10-30 minutes:

3-10 minute warm-up (or extended cardio).
5-7 exercises for the major muscles
8-12 repetitions of each exercise.
3-10 minute cool-down/stretching for the major muscles.

Maximize workout time. Go from exercise to exercise without pauses (circuit training).
If you want more, you just start over from the first exercise, e.g. 2-4 rounds.

Machine exercises are simple, but effective for novices and beginners. So, if you are not used to doing fitness, and would like to try to get fit (or keep fit), while at a hotel or a cruise ship, the fitness machines provide an easy method of working out. You can do it.
Do that instead of hanging onto the same old mat exercises; don’t waste your time.

Important note: Some trainers will tell you not to use machines, as they are not really functional, and instead recommend free weight exercises.
However, if you are not ready or up to it, it is a lot better to use machines, than 1) not exercise at all or 2) do free weight exercises incorrectly.
If you are used to work out or have a trainer to assist you, it is another matter.

Free weight and bodyweight exercises are multi-dimensional and functional, e.g. relates to everyday and sports activities.
However, they do require 1) some knowledge of movement to be safe and 2) full body movements, full range of motion and in some instances speed to be really effective.
Below some exercises to get you started with bodyweight exercises; they trim, tone and burn fat all at the same time:

Happy holiday (or at home) fitness!

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