The Crew Bar or Crew Gym - What's your best option to relax on cruise ship?

Nov 24, 2023

During the long and often exhausting months at sea, there is a much-needed balance for every crew member on the ship. If you work on the land, you can go for a pint of beer with your mates, watch a movie in the theatre, a bike ride around the city, or do whatever makes you feel relaxed. 

On the cruise ship, it's a little different situation. Often, we feel burnout because, after a long day at work, we don't get to go and see our family and friends. Options to go and relax after work on the ships are limited, but the worst thing you can do is "Work, sleep, repeat" routine. I remember coming on the cruise ship for the very first time. I made up my plan to be strictly committed to my job, and every day after I finished working, I went straight to my cabin to take a rest and sleep. It worked well for me for about two months. But then, I felt burnout. I became like a ticking time bomb because, 

in two months, there was a lot of stress, anger, and pressure accumulated. Realistically, I could function anymore without a proper work-life balance. In my third month, I decided to go to the Gym every single day, regardless of how tired I would be after work. Most crew members quit the Gym in the first few weeks because the start of workout sessions is the hardest part. Especially if you do not frequent gym visitors, it will be hard to adjust in the first few weeks. Most of the crew members quit after that because they started to believe that the Gym made them even more tired. 

That is only an adjustment period of 4 weeks, during which our body slowly starts to produce stored energy. After one month, our body feels more fresh and energetic with each new training session. Regardless of the type of workout, you will feel stronger and stronger daily, and your body will start to store new energy with each repeated workout session. Before you even know it, it becomes an addiction. There were several times on my first contract when I finished my work, and I felt exhausted. I remember sitting down on my bed and trying to push myself to go to the Gym. It was hard, no doubt about it. But then, when I managed to drag myself to the Gym and pushed myself to do my workout, I felt so energized and refreshed after a training session. It's like an instant energy boost that somebody infuses into your blood. I know many crew members would say," But I don't have time to go to the gym"? 

Well, I don't agree with that. You only need to go to the Gym at least three times per week, 30 minutes per training. You spend more than 30 minutes per day scrolling down your phone, so why don't you also do some great favors for your body and mind? Treat your body as your biggest asset, and you will reap amazing rewards if you start going to the Gym during your long contracts on the ship. It takes motivation to start, but soon after, you will get addicted to feeling energized and fresh after each visit to the Gym. There were numerous times when I felt tired after finishing my stressful work on the ship, but then when I went to the Gym, I felt relieved, refreshed, and more motivated to achieve my goals and dreams for the future. You can do it as well! I will list only some of the benefits of the workout if you spend only three times a week about half an hour in the Gym.

If you exercise at least three times per week while working on the cruise ship, there are many huge benefits:

•Help you control your weight. Along with diet, exercise is important in controlling your weight and preventing obesity. To maintain your weight, the calories you eat and drink must equal the energy you burn. You must use more calories than you eat and drink to lose weight.

•Reduce your risk of heart disease. Exercise strengthens your heart and improves your circulation. The increased blood flow raises the oxygen levels in your body. This helps lower your risk of heart diseases such as high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and heart attack. Regular exercise can also lower your blood pressure and triglyceride levels.

•Help your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels. Exercise can lower your blood sugar level and help your insulin work better. This can cut down your risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. And if you already have one of those diseases, exercise can help you to manage it.

•Help you quit smoking. Exercise may make it easier to quit smoking by reducing your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It can also help limit the weight you might gain when you stop smoking.

•Improve your mental health and mood. During exercise, your body releases chemicals that can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed. This can help you deal with stress and reduce your risk of depression.

•Help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. Exercise stimulates your body to release proteins and other chemicals that improve the structure and function of your brain.

•Strengthen your bones and muscles. Regular exercise can help you build strong bones. Later in life, it can also slow the loss of bone density that comes with age. Muscle-strengthening activities can help you increase or maintain muscle mass and strength.

•Reduce your risk of some cancers,  including colon, breast, uterine, and lung cancer.

•Reduce your risk of falls. For older crew members on the cruise ship, research shows that doing balance and muscle-strengthening activities in addition to moderate-intensity cardio activity can help reduce your risk of falling.

•Improve your sleep. Sleep quality on the cruise ship plays an enormous importance. Exercise can help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

•Increase your chances of living longer. Studies show that physical activity can reduce your risk of dying early from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers.

I know it's easier said than done, but make yourself a priority, and you will be surprised about all the positive effects. Moderate and regular workouts in the Gym will make you feel more energized to complete all your daily tasks at work. My most significant benefit was feeling so calm after 20 minutes of cardio training in the Gym. After that, you could bring the rudest passenger in front of me, and I will not get annoyed or stressed. I would remain calm, regardless of any situation, because I had already offloaded that negative energy in the crew gym on the treadmill.