Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A French Resolution - How to keep fit like a Parisian

Yes, this is always encouraged and practiced. But apart from l'Amour, ever think of how Parisians stay in shape?
Here are some examples, thanks in part, to the way Parisians incorporate exercise into their daily life. As well as knowing when to stop eating the cheese.
Here's some tip to get in shape the Parisian way.

Take the stairs
Paris is a city in which you may not have much choice in the matter. Only 50 out of 303 metro stations have a lift, and they are about as rare in old apartment buildings, so whether it's negotiating six flights of stairs up to your chambre de bonne or the 104 steps to street level at Abbesses next time the lift decides to take a break, a workout is inevitable on any given day.

Get on your bike - if you can find one
 And when you don't want to walk, skip the Uber and jump on a Vélib  bike that you'll see parked around the city. A hit with Parisians, Vélib has been going for more than ten years now and has the highest market penetration of any bike-sharing scheme globally, with one bike per 97 inhabitants.
There have been some major problems - new docking stations that don't work - recently as a new company took over the running of the service but things look like they are slowly getting back to normal.
Bikes are a great way to beat the traffic getting from A to B, as well as a workout – think of it as a spin class with a view.

Run for the Metro

Parisian commuters love sprint training. And most of them do it every morning on the way to work when they hurtle down the last few steps and across the platform to catch the Metro before it departs – think of it as subterranean interval training. They also give their arm muscles a workout as they force the closing Metro doors back open. Along with applying make-up and talking and texting simultaneously on a mobile phone.
Or you could just take the safe option and jog on the spot until the next one turns up two minutes later. But that's not very Parisian.

Just forget the Metro altogether

Alternatively, ask yourself if you need to take the Metro at all. With stops an average of only 500 meters apart, sometimes you're just as quick - or even quicker walking.  As the map below shows.
Paris is a compact city, only six miles across, and you can walk from one end to the other in less than two hours. Add this to the fact that driving, never mind parking, isn't exactly the most relaxing activity the capital has to offer, and you'll see why Paris is a city of walkers so make like the locals and put your best foot forward.

Cara - Tuesday


  1. I remember all those moments in Paris...some more fondly than others. :) I must get back there this year.

  2. I love walking around Paris. Always interesting.

  3. Cara, these activities also describe NYC behaviors, but
    , now that I think about it, in Paris I walk more slowly. It seems it requires more attention as I go along. Too beautiful to be turned into a blur. It must be savored. Thank you for taking me back.

  4. I also lose weight in France. It's puzzling because I always drink throughout the day in France, with every meal and in between meals, and the meals are always multiple course. And they always include bread. Lots and lots of bread. And cheese. And yet I return to London slimmer. Perhaps calories don't count when you're travelling? My French friends claim its the superior quality of their food. I think they just have less steroids in their produce.