You’ve booked your dream cruise. You set sail in a few weeks. The airfare is purchased and the sun tan lotion is packed. You have a few books on stand by. After all you plan to spend all day by the ship’s pool. Everything is looking fabulous. Everything except your belly and thighs!
A major stressor to enjoying a fantastic cruise vacation is the reality that we will most likely be in a hot and humid environment. The Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Maarten are all likely destinations. That means showing skin, bathing suits and shorts.
Here are 5 exercises that can really whip your body into shape. Incorporate these exercises with a consistently healthy menu and the results will shock you!
Squats: The squat is one of my all-time favorite exercises. It works the entire thigh and really provides a surprise to the muscle. The secret to performing the squat properly is to stay on your heels and work at your own level.
Some folks prefer to squat all the way to the ground while others prefer not to lower their knees less than a 90 degree angle. Work with a trainer to find what the most appropriate form for you is.
Plank Pose: I learned this exercise while receiving my yoga teacher certification. Since then I have used it in almost every single fitness routine. I absolutely love it. The plank pose is relatively easy to learn, but it’s one of the most challenging exercises I know of. It works the entire body, but primarily the abs and arms.
This exercise is a body weight exercise. You can do it anywhere… even on a cruise ship!
Push Ups: The classic push up and its variations are the perfect upper body workout. A push up will work the arms, chest, back and the abdominals. Many women prefer to do a push up using the added support of being on their knees. Most men prefer to do a standard pushup with no support.
The goal of a push up should be to fatigue your muscles. How you perform the exercise will depend on your fitness level and strength. You should always have control of the movements.
Deadlifts: Deadlifts are loved by some and hated by others. Learning how to properly perform a deadlift is probably the most difficult part of this exercise. Each fitness fanatic will show you a different form and technique.
In my professional opinion, the best way to perform a deadlift is by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. You can use either a barbell or free weights for this exercise. Slowly bend forward from your hips while keeping the weights near your legs. Keep your knees slightly bent and your back flat. Continue to lower the weights to the ground. Only go down as low as you feel comfortable.
This exercise really works the hamstring muscles, but will utilize many smaller muscles as well. It’s challenging to learn, but not impossible. Just confirm your form with a qualified trainer.
Cardio: Cardio is vitally important when preparing your body for a cruise. With that said, there is a trick that will speed up your results and provide more entertainment than you may think! My favorite program is called interval cardio. Here is a bit more about the interval program.
Select any cardio activity that you enjoy: biking, running, treadmill, elliptical, or swimming. You will work at a lower intensity level for 2 minutes and then a higher intensity level for a minute. Keep switching between the intensity levels until you complete a 20-25 minute cardio session.
The interval program keeps your cardio interesting and keeps your body’s metabolism on full blast.
Combining these 5 exercises along with a sound, healthy and regular menu is your ticket to an amazing cruise vacation. Whether you have a few months or weeks before your departure, start your fitness routine today. Your results will be well worth it. Now you can enjoy your daiquiris!
Copyright 2006 Lynn VanDyke
Lynn VanDyke is a master trainer and fitness nutritionist. Her fitness site, www.strength-training-woman.com is ranked within the top 1% of all websites. She has authored the wildly popular ebook, Melt the Fat (www.melt-the-fat.com ). It is yielded as one of the best fitness and nutrition ebooks available.