A Cruise Va­ca­tion can be a Healthy Va­ca­tion

Luxe Beat Magazine - - Contents - By Lil­lian Africano Travel

Yes, that’s right: A cruise va­ca­tion can be a healthy va­ca­tion. Sure, a gen­er­a­tion or so ago, a cruise va­ca­tion was of­ten an ex­cuse to drink too much and overeat, not only dur­ing break­fast, lunch and din­ner -- but also at the leg­endary mid­night buf­fets. To­day’s health-con­scious trav­eler will find it easy to eat well (and de­li­ciously) on a cruise and drink fine wines, with­out overindulging. Ex­er­cise op­tions on­board can be fun and there is enough to do so there is lit­tle risk of eat­ing out of bore­dom.

Cruise Lines In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion (CLIA) re­cently listed the fol­low­ing 12 rea­sons why tak­ing a cruise is a healthy va­ca­tion choice, based on a 2014 North Amer­i­can Cruise Pro­file study, which col­lected data from U.S. and Cana­dian res­i­dents.

Sun­shine

There’s no bet­ter place to enjoy the morn­ing sun­shine than a cruise ship deck. Stud­ies have found that get­ting an hour of nat­u­ral sun­light in the morn­ing can help fine tune your in­ter­nal clock, al­low­ing you to get more (and bet­ter!) sleep. Sun­shine also has long-term ben­e­fits since it helps the body pro­duce the im­por­tant Vi­ta­min D which has been found to help fight off heart dis­ease and can­cer. Mod­er­ate amounts of sun­shine will also boost sero­tonin lev­els that fight off de­pres­sion. So ap­ply sun­screen and enjoy the rays!

Re­lax­ation

Find­ing time to re­lax plays a vi­tal role in over­all health. Chronic stress can lead to a myr­iad of prob­lems, in­clud­ing im­paired mem­ory, in­flam­ma­tion, high blood pres­sure and heart dis­ease. Skip the stress by loung­ing at the pool, en­joy­ing spa treat­ments and re­lax­ing in com­fort­able ac­com­mo­da­tions. Best of all, cruis­ing al­lows for a stress­free va­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ence where va­ca­tion­ers can just “go with the flow” of the itin­er­ary.

Clean­li­ness

Cruise line clean­li­ness is highly reg­u­lated. Each room and com­mon area is kept clean, pre­sentable and dis­in­fected. From door han­dles to poker chips, cruise ships are reg­u­larly san­i­tized for the well­be­ing of ev­ery­one on board. Clean hands also guide a steady ship, as those on-board are urged to wash hands fre­quently.

Ocean Air

The ben­e­fits of fresh, ocean air are seem­ingly lim­it­less and cruis­ers can take full ad­van­tage day and night. Be­tween day­time ex­cur­sions and nights spent re­lax­ing on the ship deck, there is plenty of time to breathe deeply! Fresh air is known to help keep lungs clean; aid in di­ges­tion; im­prove heart rate; strengthen the im­mune sys­tem; and pro­vide an en­ergy boost.

Salt Wa­ter

Isak Di­ne­sen knew what she was talk­ing about when she said, “The cure for any­thing is salt wa­ter: sweat, tears or the sea.” Cruis­ers can take full ad­van­tage of the amaz­ing ben­e­fits of the ocean. Aside from the stress re­lief a day at the beach pro­vides, swim­ming in salt wa­ter can also help im­prove cir­cu­la­tion by restor­ing vi­tal min­er­als to your body. Ocean wa­ter and on-ship salt wa­ter swim­ming pools are also a nat­u­ral beauty treat­ment, as the mag­ne­sium has been found to help hy­drate skin and im­prove in­flamed or red com­plex­ions.

Ca­ma­raderie

Hu­mans are wired to con­nect with one an­other and in our hy­per-dig­i­tal age, this isn’t al­ways a daily re­al­ity. Cruis­ing al­lows for high amounts of qual­ity bond­ing time with your va­ca­tion part­ners while also al­low­ing you to so­cial­ize with new peo­ple. Whether over a gourmet din­ner in the din­ing room or dur­ing a com­edy rou­tine in the ship theater, cruise ships of­fer time to con­nect with oth­ers free of work emails, smart phones and hand-held gam­ing sys­tems.

Ex­plo­ration

There’s some­thing to be said about the ben­e­fits of ex­plo­ration and hav­ing an ad­ven­ture (not to men­tion the sto­ries to tell!). Pre-planned cruise shore ex­cur­sions al­low cruis­ers to scuba dive, para­sail, check out lo­cal sites in ex­otic lo­ca­tions and more, with­out the stress of making plan­ning ev­ery de­tail or read­ing mil­lions of re­views to find the right ac­tiv­i­ties. Cruis­ers can see the world with­out spend­ing months plan­ning.

Healthy Din­ing Op­tions

Though many peo­ple think it is im­pos­si­ble to eat well while on va­ca­tion, cruise ships around the world of­fer healthy din­ing fare and lighter meal op­tions to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery diet. Gluten-free? Ve­gan? Low-carb diet? Cruise ship chefs are happy to ac­com­mo­date. Ad­di­tion­ally, cruise ships of­fer buf­fets filled with fresh fruits, veg­eta­bles and lean pro­teins to help you build a bet­ter plate.

Stay­ing Ac­tive

Cruise va­ca­tions of­fer va­ca­tion­ers a chance to stay ac­tive. There are plenty of on­board ac­tiv­i­ties, like rock climb­ing, bas­ket­ball or ta­ble ten­nis. In ad­di­tion, many cruise ships of­fer full ser­vice gyms and fun fit­ness classes like yoga in the morn­ing or nighttime tai chi. It’s easy to stay ac­tive with op­tions abound on each ship.

Med­i­ta­tion

Whether pack­ing a dance card with end­less ex­cur­sions or take a leisurely stroll around the port, “think time” on a cruise can help clear the mind. Med­i­ta­tion has been found to help re­duce stress, neg­a­tive emo­tions, recharge the mind and in­crease self-aware­ness. Noth­ing takes the mind to a peace­ful place like gaz­ing into open wa­ters or med­i­tat­ing in a beach chair.

Stress-free Va­ca­tion Plan­ning

Va­ca­tions are im­por­tant in terms of “get­ting away” and bond­ing with loved ones but the stress of plan­ning ev­ery de­tail can be daunt­ing. Cruis­ing al­lows for stress-free va­ca­tion plan­ning with pre-planned ex­cur­sions, in­clu­sive meals and end­less on-ship en­ter­tain­ment. More im­por­tantly, a cruise va­ca­tion al­lows you to un­pack and get set­tled in your cabin with­out the has­sle of hav­ing to move your be­long­ings, while you visit mul­ti­ple des­ti­na­tions.

Bet­ter Bud­get Value

Noth­ing can bring down a va­ca­tion high quite like re­turn­ing to a pile of credit card bills. Cruise va­ca­tions are a great all-in­clu­sive way to enjoy a va­ri­ety of va­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ences with­out a va­ri­ety of hid­den costs. Cruise travel agents are also avail­able to help bud­get and pre-plan trips for the most bud­get-friendly ex­pe­ri­ences.

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