Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pre-Cruise Fitness

While a lot of planning can go into the logistics and details for a vacation such as this Mediterranean adventure, there's more to getting ready than arranging transportation, scheduling excursions, and packing.  One aspect is getting physically ready for such a port-intensive itinerary.

Our journey will include 18 days in ports and 8 days at sea.  Each day in port will have us taking a tour that involves a lot of walking and standing as we learn about the places we are visiting. Some will have more walking than others.  And the days at sea won't find us just sitting on a lounge chair; our cabin on Deck 6 is three flights above the main dining and entertainment deck and three decks below the buffet, pool, and recreation deck. That means plenty of opportunity to take the stairs every day!

It's important to train for vacation.  I always think I will do that before we go, and based on previous experiences, I know I should, but yet I never have, and I always pay the price.  The first day on board, you have so much adrenaline and determination that you'll take the stairs so as to offset the wonderful food selections, so you do just that.  But two days later, you experience the post-stair strain in your calves that make it hard to walk without a weird gait.  Or you go on an excursion that includes more walking than you expected, or perhaps it's at an incline and you find yourself falling behind the group or breathing so heavily that the tour guide wonders if you'll need an oxygen mask.

No one wants to spend their vacation hurting, so planning ahead with some vacation-focused exercise is one way to prepare for the trip.  Think about what activities you'll be doing on your vacation - walking, biking, kayaking, climbing ruins - and tailor your exercise routine to strengthen and tone your body so that these activities will be fun and enjoyable and not leave unwanted memories of how sore you were the next day.  Whether you go for a walk around the neighborhood or increase your time on the treadmill at the gym, incorporating exercise into your pre-vacation routine will benefit you and your family.

This post is mostly directed at me and my languishing membership at the local gym. We have less than three months until we fly across the big blue ocean and that's plenty of time to improve my level of fitness so I'll be able to keep up and enjoy the activities we have planned.  After all, planning is half the fun of a vacation; the actual doing is the other half!

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