Viking Sun - What it's like as a visiting practitioner on the world's best cruise ship

Earlier in 2018 I was invited to be a visiting practitioner on the Viking Sun Cruise ship for part of its maiden voyage around the world from the USA  to Sweden.

Floating Oasis with a Liv Nordic Spa

As soon as I stepped onboard the brand new ship, I was blown away by the huge open lobby, breathtaking staircase and clean Scandinavian design of the ship.

 The Explorer's lounge on Viking Sun

The Explorer's lounge on Viking Sun

Gleaming white floors led the way to the light blue carpet of reception where I checked in, and was promptly walked to the spa reception to meet the incredible spa manager and international team. 

Spacious luxury and Scandinavian design

From the flawless Liv Nordic spa reception I wandered passed the huge gym with vast windows facing out to sea and up the wide, open staircase to my floor. Having never set foot on a cruise ship before, I was surprised to see how long the hallways were, they seemed never ending!

Eventually I found my ‘stateroom,’ the name for a hotel room on a cruise ship. I had expected a small, boxy room akin to hotel rooms in Japan, but it was far more spacious. In keeping with the ship's Norwegian roots, everything was beautifully furnished in blonde wood or soft blue, and a stunning Norweigian blanket was folded over the end of the bed. 

Holistic physiotherapy

Health and wellness was easy to find on Viking sun

Healthy food was easy to find on the Viking Sun, which was the perfect addition to the wellness spa, fitness and therapy options offered at the Liv Nordic Spa (including my sessions of course!) 

The restaurant on the seventh floor offered a huge range of food; my favourites were the fresh berries and yoghurt, scrambled eggs, mushrooms and gluten free toast. The lunch salad bar upstairs on the seventh floor, and gluten free bolognese from Manfredi’s, the Italian restaurant were my favourites. I was thrilled to see how easy the Viking Sun made access to good, nourishing food for each and every guest. For others with coelic disease like myself, Viking SUn even offers gluten free waffles in Mamsen's cafe.

My Holistic Physiotherapy lectures drew a crowd

Over the next three weeks I lectured about my favourite topics to crowds of at least 30 guests. As most of the guests were at least 60 years young, the topics were focused around the wellness of ageing including:

  • Protecting joints as you age
  • 5 easy ways to say strong in daily life
  • How to eat for health
  • 5 stretches you can do to move better
  • The one thing you need to know about back pain

I’m so passionate about the topics above, and after seeing the crowds my lectures drew, it turned out the guests of Viking Sun were too!

I taught morning Pilates classes on the pool deck every few days and I was blown away by how motivated the attendees were. Most were women, in their 60’s and 70’s who had never tried Pilates before, but they attended every class during three weeks. They went from complete beginners to strong side plankers in just three weeks!

I was so inspired by the dedication of the guests. They were so interested to learn how they could continue living well as they aged. 

From private Pilates classes to holistic Physiotherapy sessions, I worked with so many wonderful people on the Viking Sun. I had an exceptional experience on The Viking Sun with Liv Nordic, it was a visiting practitioner posting with a nautical edge. I'm so grateful to the Liv Nordic team for inviting me to join the Viking Sun as a visiting practitioner.

To learn more about the Holistic Physiotherapy services I can offer your guests, click below.

Why You Need Sleep to Restore Your Body

Many of my clients and attendees at my retreats tell me they're so busy and stressed, they sleep around six hours per night; but that's OK right? Wrong. Evidence on the biochemical changes that occur during sleep is mounting, meaning sleep is more important than we ever realised!

I asked one of the experts to tell all of you about the importance of sleep - check it out!

why you need sleep australia nz

Sleep provides time to heal, recharge and restore the body, yet many people view rest as a luxury rather than a necessity. Many adults don't sleep the recommended seven hours each night. By making sleep a priority and developing good sleep hygiene, you can get the restorative sleep you need to be physically and mentally at your best.

Sleep Deprivation Puts a Stop to Your Healing Abilities

The body has amazing abilities to heal and restore itself but needs time in which to do it. A study published in Sleep Medicine measured the levels of proteins necessary for muscle recovery and correlated it to the subjects’ amount of sleep. Lack of sleep suppressed showed a slower healing process in all aspects of your biology.

The immune system also takes a serious hit during sleep deprivation.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University explored the effects of sleep deprivation on the immune system by examining susceptibility to the common cold. Sleep deprived people were more likely to catch a cold.

Those that slept less than seven hours were nearly three times as likely to get sick.

It wasn’t just how much time they slept but the quality of their sleep as well. Participants who frequently woke during the night were also more susceptible to illness. The immune system needs rest to not only fight off infection but to recharge itself for full daytime functionality.

what is the main reason you need sleep?

How to Get Better, More Restorative Sleep

The benefits of sleep come from spending enough hours in bed and from high-quality sleep. You can improve the restorative nature of your sleep by developing good sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene means that you:

  • Keep a Consistent Sleep-Wake Schedule 

Your body relies on regular 24-hour biological and physiological cycles called circadian rhythms to control your sleep-wake cycle. By keeping a consistent sleep-wake schedule, that means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, you acclimate your brain and body to your natural rhythms. Consequently, the brain will release sleep hormones automatically because it knows what time you need to fall asleep.

  • Develop a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

Bedtime routines are particularly important for those who have a hard time falling asleep. A routine can trigger the release of sleep hormones and provide time to relieve any stress or tension before bed. It should include activities that calm and relax you. Try to perform your bedtime routine at the same time and in the same order each day.  

  • Turn Off Screens Early

The bright light from televisions and smartphones can suppress sleep hormones, making it hard to fall asleep. Try shutting them off at least two to three hours before bed to prevent a sleep delay.

  • Eat Healthy, Regularly Spaced Meals

A well-balanced diet helps improve all aspects of your life. However, it’s not just what you eat but when you eat it that affects your sleep-wake cycle. Try to eat at the same times each day and keep your meals regularly spaced. Avoid heavy high-fat foods close to bedtime.

Sleep gives your body the time it needs to restore and heal itself. When you make sleep a priority, you’re giving yourself a natural boost to your mental and physical health.

About this Guest author:

Samantha (Sam) Kent is a researcher for Her favourite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.