Sailing Away
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Sailing Away

I got back from a cruise to the Bahamas late Monday and promised to bring some of the inspirations to you.  Considering one?  Here are some things that might be helpful to enjoy the cruise AND stay healthy and fit:
1.  You can sport a bikini if all you have is 1-15 lbs to lose.  I turn 51 Saturday and could confidently sport my bikini. I believe most women can with determination and discipline. Consider 2 lbs a week weight loss as being healthy weight loss and calculate the time it would take to lose the weight.  If it would take too long, wear a bathing suit that flatters your figure. Keep carbs low (don't delete), eat lean protein like lean chicken, beef, fish, and plant proteins like almonds, up the fresh fruits and veggies, drink plenty of water and eat regular meals. Keep a regular exercise schedule that includes 30+ minutes of cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises.
2. Plan to eat in the main dining room on the ship rather than the buffet. Since I have celiac disease and food allergies, I contact the cruise line to have my meals according to my needs.  You can ask about a healthy food choice menu. Royal Caribbean has the Vitality logo beside the healthy, low cal choices.  Other cruise lines probably do, too. You will be confined to a certain eating schedule and portion control this way.  As I told you in my last post, I lost 4 lbs on the cruise eating in the main dining room and didn't starve.  There were some indulgences because it was vacation.  Plan your treat and stick to it.
3. Hit the gym and/or track on board.  Most ships have a workout center with cardio and weights along with classes. If you can afford it, take a few classes.  If not, use what is available for free. The rock wall is a full body work out. Don't let it intimidate you! Dance the night away. Find something active and love the way your body feels afterward.
3. Put the pool to good use when it isn't busy.  As a water exercise instructor and enthusiast, I find it frustrating to have children cannonball right by me when I am working out. Don't get me wrong, I love children and watching them enjoy the water.  However, I don't appreciate having my workout sabotaged by unruly ones.  So, when people hit the shore, the bar or casino, hit the pool!  Since the pools on cruise ships aren't conducive to lap swimming, walking, jogging, cross country, jax and other movements get a boost from the water pressure around you.  30-90 seconds per exercise through a 1/2 hour workout followed by stretching will feel very good for you!
4. Plan your shore excursions.  Try walking and biking tours instead of bus or trolley.  Take a snorkeling expedition or learn to surf. Walk or run on the beach!  Walking and running in sand burns more calories since stabilizing muscles are being challenged constantly. Chose active versus passive activities to keep your fitness level and your waistline in check.
5. Allow yourself 1 special cheat treat while checking out the places at the ports.  We tried Boombay Punch only sold in the Bahamas. Unfortunately it is 210 calories for a can (regular pop can size)! We shared it and savored it.  Maybe Key Lime Pie in Key West is more your treat.  Whatever it is, try one then move on. You will be glad you did!

Regardless of the vacation you choose, you can adapt these tips.  Hopefully a bit of R&R will help you relax and be ready to jump back into real life feeling great! God bless!

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