If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know how important both physical and mental health is to me. And that often continues whilst I am away too – as I travel so much it is important for me to continue these wellbeing strategies when I travel too. I wrote this blog post last year about keeping fit on holiday, but this post is more holistic, including both physical and mental health. For this post I have teamed up with the lovely team at Marella Cruises to pull together a post on keeping fit on holiday.
And as a wonderful addition, there is also some great top tips from #couplegoals Frankie and Wayne Bridge who have teamed up with Marella Cruises to get their bodies and minds in ship shape – discovering the diversity and ease of keeping fit and healthy on holiday. Frankie and Wayne were challenged by Marella Cruises to create their own Marella By U Itinerary – designed to kick start health and wellness regimes of any level. The couple reveal their itinerary adventures, both onboard and ashore the Wonders of the Fjords cruise and there’s some added top tips from leading psychology expert Hope Bastine, on how each itinerary element can help get your body and mind in ship shape.
TOP TIP #1
Take to the water: Couple’s Kayaking
The couple first took part in a picturesque kayaking excursion against the breathtaking backdrop of the stunning Geirangerfjord.
If you need to melt your stress, there’s no better way than getting to the water. Research shows that even just looking out to a flowing river or sea waves releases stress-busting neurotransmitters – dopamine and serotonin – that banish cortisol to the depths of the sea. Not only that but splashing waves unlock the “cuddle” hormone – Oxytocin – making us feel all is right with the world. Even the sound of water, be it a babbling brook, a tumbling waterfall, or the rhythmic waves of the open ocean lightens the load of a stress-based life. Research has found that when couples swim or play in the water together, it cements the bond between them owing to a spike in Oxytocin.
TOP TIP #2
Exercise as a Couple
Frankie and Wayne took to the deck of the ship, putting each other through their paces with an outdoors couples workout.
Exercising with your partner is a proven way to get more out of your workout because of the emotional support and motivation from a little healthy competitiveness. Furthermore, a workout releases feel-good endorphins – like dopamine – that invigorate you and lead to heightened intimacy. There are also non-verbal cues that can create an invisible bond between you. From an emotional perspective, spotting each other on the bench-press establishes a sense of support; we also mentally and emotionally harmonise when we align, synchronize, and mirror our movements. Build the bond between you by tossing the medicine ball to each other, lifting weights in time together, or synchronize your running pace.
TOP TIP #3
Try New Experiences: Climb Together
Positioned on the open deck of the ship with idyllic panoramic views, the adventurers took turns spotting each other to reach the top of the wall, where they were able to look out at the luscious scenery of the phenomenal Fjords.
The novelty of travelling the world is a great way to escape the stresses and commitments of ordinary life, as it changes sights, sounds, and experiences. Changing your environment is an effective way to shift your perspective and add meaning to the hum-drum life. New cultures open our minds to the wonderful variety that life has to offer -and in doing so – hacks creative thinking. The enemy of creativity is boredom so be sure to shake things up, immerse and engage with the local environment and be curious about everything you’re seeing. Have fun and don’t be afraid to tap into your inner child.
TOP TIP #4
Fuel your relationship: Tank up on feel-good, fresh food
Frankie and Wayne understand that wellness means more than just workouts and as a former professional footballer and a singing and dancing sensation – the couple like to look after themselves by eating feel-good, fresh food which works wonders for both body and mind. The duo’s diet played an important part in their itinerary – where they enjoyed fresh fish, steak and vegetables at Surf and Turf Steakhouse.
To get your happy-healthy holiday boost, tank up on food rich in serotonin, the neurotransmitter that creates a calming sense of happiness. Fish oils also help to moderate our mood by supporting the effects on serotonin and serotonin receptors in the brain. Enjoy the taste of North Sea omega rich fish such as Halibut, salmon, mackerel, Cod and Tuna to heal your heart and nourish your brain. Eat mood-boosting foods including eggs, fruits, vegetables, legumes, wholegrain cereals, nuts and seeds.
TOP TIP #5
Spend More Time Together
Frankie and Wayne’s lifestyle is all about balance and so the Bridge’s also took an afternoon to wind down and spend quality time together.
Making memories with your significant other is an excellent way of strengthening the love-knot. A unique shared experience increases a sense of closeness and intimacy with your partner because you’ve discovered and grown together by sharing an interest special to you. You’ve carved out an “exclusive” cave in your memory brain-bank and revisiting that memory at a later time is a sure starter for rekindling the romantic spark. Take time to reminisce about your holidays together. Use your travel stories to spark up the conversation between you and see where memory lane leads you.
Frankie said: “As a couple, health and wellness is a really important part of our lives and we also love going on new adventures together, so when Marella Cruises asked us to create our own itinerary based on our personal interests, we jumped at the opportunity!
“We worked closely with the amazing staff on board to design an itinerary to inspire health and wellness regimes. We couldn’t believe all of the different activities we could do on the ship and ashore – we were spoiled for choice!”
Wayne added: “Frank and I have such hectic lives at home – so making time for the two of us is so important – whether that’s working out together or going out for dinner.
“A lot of people think that going on holiday means you have to be inactive but actually it’s really easy to get active – especially on a cruise because there’s so many options. It’s also the perfect time to have a laugh together, which me and Frank always do.”
Leading psychologist, Hope comments: “We live in a busy world where people aren’t necessarily able to find the time to unwind and de-stress. Going on holiday is the perfect time to truly reset and re-connect with ourselves and our loved ones. Getting away is proven to benefit your health and wellbeing, with research showing it can boost your immune system too.
“Cruising provides some of the most essential ingredients for people looking to get back in touch with their health and wellness regime. Being by the sea is a scientifically proven solution for stress and it is this environment which allows our body and mind to enter a heightened state of relaxation. Being near water and enjoying new experiences together are just some of the things that can boost the health of your body and mind.