Longevity

Fittest cruise ships
March 21

Fittest cruise ships

Cruises are traditionally a dieter's worst nightmare, almost on a par with French fries, glazed donuts and supersized sodas. According to a survey of more than 1,200 British cruisers, for instance, 52 percent said they’d gained up to 14 pounds during a two-week holiday. Even worse? About six percent reported putting on up to 18 pounds. But going on a cruise doesn't have to mean being cooped up, doing canned excursions, and letting your waistline bulge while you eat coconut shrimp by the pool. Instead, it can mean early morning Tai Chi classes on deck, getting a personal training session in a state-of-the-art fitness center with sweeping views, or putting in an early evening jog in the fresh ocean air. As the public becomes more and more health conscious, cruise lines are offering better options—by way of expanded gyms, fitness classes and over-the-top amenities like jogging tracks, climbing walls and artificial surf waves—to help you stay active while at sea. That way, if you're eating more food (and admit it—you will!), you can balance calories in with calories out without running up and down the stairs or doing lunges down the hallway (and attracting strange looks from fellow passengers). Rather than aim for absolutes—and run the risk of multiple ships from the same company (Royal Caribbean, for instance, would take many slots, based on the sprawling size of its ships alone)—we picked the top ships from 13 different cruise lines, in order to serve cruisers of every stripe, from the family types who might sail with Disney to those who prefer the luxury of a Regent Seven Seas vacation. To come up with our ranking, we looked at passengers per personal trainer, size and number of fitness centers, counted every piece of fitness equipment (at least that we could get numbers for) and factored in number of fitness classes and more exciting amenities like zip lines, rock walls and sports facilities. Ready to set sail on a fitness-friendly cruise? Here are 13 ships with calorie-crunching fitness offerings onboard to keep your waistline intact.

America’s top 10 weight loss resorts
Best BPA-free water bottles
March 20

Best BPA-free water bottles

Good news! Americans are finally drinking more water than the sugary drinks, like soda, we’ve grown accustomed to. We can’t argue with more people drinking water, but as more and more consumers are finding alternatives to pricey, not-so-eco-friendly bottled water, there’s a caveat — your reusable water bottle may be filled with more than crystal-clear H2O. It’s been a few years since news of BPA swept the nation. Exposure to BPA, or the chemical bisphenol A, is "widespread," thanks to the containers we’re eating and drinking out of — and it could have serious consequences, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Services. Studies have linked BPA to some serious health effects, like certain cancers, reproductive problems, and behavioral problems in children to name just a few. And one Environmental Working Group (EWG) study found that BPA can be found in umbilical cords — so BPA can begin affecting children even in the womb. Once everyone began to realize that water bottles, canned goods, and food containers could leach chemicals into the food and drink they’re holding, companies sought to make BPA-free containers. And in 2012, the FDA banned BPA from children’s cups and baby bottles, but that doesn’t mean your water bottles are always safe. BPA comes from polycarbonate bottles, so some of your old Nalgene bottles (arguably the biggest name brand to change its plastics to BPA-free materials in 2008) may still be BPA offenders. (How to know if your old water bottles or food containers are made from polycarbonate? Look for a "PC" marker, or #7 on recycling labels, the EWG advises). To help you steer clear of the harmful chemical, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite, BPA-free water bottles — ones you will feel uber cool carrying around. You’ll find that most of the bottles are made from stainless steel or glass; while the price tags may seem shocking at first, it sure beats paying for bottled water all the time. And the one plastic bottle on our list, Bobble, is made from BPA-free plastics, like recycled PET. You’ll drink safe knowing that your water bottle is chemical-free. Look ahead to find our picks.