Getting ship-shape on the river

Morning yoga on the AmaPrima.
Morning yoga on the AmaPrima. Photo Credit: Jeri Clausing

River cruise editor Jeri Clausing is sailing on the AmaPrima. Her dispatch follows.

After months of seemingly nonstop travel and too much work to catch up on, my normal yoga and Pilates routine had become almost nonexistent. 

In, fact if it weren't for three big dogs that drag me around each morning, I shudder to think what shape I would be in.

So, I was quite pleased that my assignment was to check out the wellness program AmaWaterways has added to a number of its ships.

I do have to admit I was a little leery, wondering if it would really be challenging enough to make a difference. When I do work out, I kind of like to go all-out. But I should have known better, given that the program was the brainchild of the very fit AmaWaterways co-owner Kristin Karst.

Our 10-day sailing on the AmaPrima offered three or more classes every day throughout the day that rotate between core workouts, fitness circuits, yoga. All are followed by an optional half of stretching, which many guests join for that alone. And, of course, there are always bicycles that can be checked out as well as hiking, walking and biking tours where appropriate.

There's also a fitness center and the option to book personal training sessions for the very reasonable rate of $35 for a half-hour or $50 for an hour.

My goal was to hit at least one class a day. So far I've made it, save for the morning I set my alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. And while the movements on the mats and use of resistance bands might look easy to the average observer, these workouts are not for sissies. Yes, they can be adapted for any fitness level, but my sore (in a good way) abs, arms and legs are a testament to the power of a balanced workout using simple resistance movements.

AmaPrima wellness coach Andre Almeida leads a personal training session.
AmaPrima wellness coach Andre Almeida leads a personal training session. Photo Credit: Jeri Clausing

I've been doing the morning classes, mostly because they are in the warmth of the lounge. But what a great way to start the day. Then you can feel a little less guilty about indulging in the wonderful food and wine, or go the whole nine yards and pick from the many healthful eating options that are offered throughout the day.

Ama also provides a wellness lecture, literature on healthy diets, and exercises -- even a sheet of specific stretches to keep you comfortable on the long flight home.

Despite my best intentions, I am rarely motivated to work out on my own while traveling, which is why I was excited to try out the Ama wellness plan.

And, in the interest of changing my ways before I embark on another round of crazy travel next month, I signed up for a personal session with Almeida on Tuesday. He celebrated his birthday by kicking my butt with a one-hour full-body workout. Let’s hope the motivation sticks, although I wouldn't take any bets.

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