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Your week-long fitness challenge

The seven days it takes to sail to New York on Queen Mary 2 gives you the perfect space to get back in shape.


The seven days it takes to sail to New York on Queen Mary 2 gives you the perfect space to get back in shape. Choose from the outdoor jogging track, state-of-the-art gym and fitness classes for your week-long workout challenge

I stand on my bathroom scales one last time. Not so much because I want to know my weight (eight and a half stone since you ask) but to remind myself that eight days from now, after crossing the Atlantic on Cunard’s iconic liner Queen Mary 2, I aim not only to have shed a few pounds but also, and more importantly, be in better shape.

Many think such holidays are all about doing nothing but eating lots of food and gaining weight. My challenge was to prove that a voyage on Queen Mary 2 offers plenty to keep sporty types on their toes.

First stop once on board was to check out the gym, a keep-fit heaven with all the latest hi-tech equipment designed to help you run off calories and discover muscles you never knew you had.

I counted 16 treadmills, eight exercise bikes, nine cross-trainers and various weight-training machines designed to get biceps bulging and legs looking shapely. The icing on the cake is that the gym is at the front of the ship so you can enjoy sea views while working out.

Keep on running: take advantage of the jogging track on Queen Mary 2Credit:Cunard

Queen Mary 2 also has a jogging track on the promenade deck (three times around is one mile) and fun sporting activities to keep you on the move.

With all that, and no land to distract me for during the seven days we would be sailing from Southampton to New York, I reckoned I would have no excuse for failing the challenge.

If you don’t know how to use the gym equipment safely, fitness staff are on hand to assist, and they will also help you plan an exercise regime. I found an 80-minute fitness assessment and personal training session was a good way to help me focus on my goal.

There are also complementary stretching and abs classes that promise to get tummies looking trim, while those who want more of a workout or time to relax can sign up for indoor cycling, boot camp, yoga and pilates sessions.

Eyes on the ball: try your hand at table tennisCredit:Getty

I decided to make a date with the gym every morning and late afternoon and also take an exercise class every day. I also determined to go jogging in the middle of each day, starting with 30 minutes but then working up to an hour or more. I wasn’t planning to run the London Marathon but if I had been, this transatlantic crossing would have been a perfect place to start training, especially as you can eat healthily as well.

There are fresh salads in the Kings Court self-service, while dinner menus have special spa options showing calories and fat content. Again, all perfect for anyone in training for a marathon.

Of course, a transatlantic crossing is supposed to be a holiday and happily there is plenty of fun stuff to keep you active as well. Most unusual were the daily fencing lessons (no experience needed but you have to sign up quick as it’s first come, first served with room for only 16 people).

You can also do a few laps in one of four swimming pools, try your hand at table tennis, or give the arm muscles a workout with a game of paddle tennis, which is similar to ordinary tennis but the court is smaller and the racquets are solid rather than strung. You can have a knockabout with friends or sign up for tournaments with the sports hosts.

Or how about teeing off in Valderrama in Spain? Cunard can “virtually” take you and up to seven other players there – or to 35 other top courses in the US and UK - at its 18-hole golf simulator, The Fairways. And when it’s time to celebrate at the 19th hole, there’s plenty of those to choose from on Queen Mary 2 too.

Discover more at cunard.com

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