Cruise fitness: Trimming those sails at sea

Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:11am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Cruise liners, long considered modern-day galleons of gluttony, are also hoisting seriously sophisticated fitness and wellness centers on the high seas.

The food has not disappeared but a battery of seaworthy fitness experts are also on deck to help the health-minded cruiser resist the siren song of that endless buffet.

"Cruise lines are doing a great job of keeping up with the 21st century. You can be a fitness junkie on a cruise," said Mike Weingart of Travel Leaders in Houston, Texas. "Those who want to be fit can keep up their routine."

Or learn new ones.

Jogging tracks and state-of-the-art fitness centers are standard on most big ships, but increasingly so are wellness education classes, metabolic testing and cutting edge fitness classes, from kettlebell workouts to TRX suspension training, which borrows technology from U.S. Navy Seals.

"I had to add another TRX class at 4:30 because 4:00 was sold out," said Sarah Ward, a personal trainer aboard the 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic.

The Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, boasts 20 dining options and 24/7 pizza delivery. But most popular at the wellness center is a seminar titled "Secrets to a Flatter Stomach."

"People who are fit will find the gym," said Ward, who presides over the ship's Pulse Fitness Centre. "I like to find the others."   Continued...

<p>A woman sunbathes on the deck of an ocean liner in a file photo. REUTERS/Paul Yeung</p>