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5 Simple ways to stay in shape like a Parisian

młoda turystka stoi przed fasadą katedry Notre-Dame w Paryżu

Taras Pol | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 04/19/23

If you're looking to improve your physical well-being, take a little inspiration from our Gallic brothers and sisters.

As a Catholic, we’re encouraged to see all that is beautiful around us: from an early morning sunrise, to every bump and wrinkle that covers our unique bodies. However, while we should embrace all our little flaws, we should also remember to care of the body God gave us.

And now that Easter is over and spring is in full bloom, you might be even more inspired to get in shape for the summer. If going to the gym seems too much of a tall order, you might make some simple French-inspired changes to your daily life that could affect your physical health, and boost your mental well-being as a result.

So take a few minutes to see the simple ways lots of Parisians stay fit. (Note: The first two of these aren’t for those with mobility challenges.)

Take the steps

If you’ve been to Paris, you’ll notice that getting around the French capital often gives you the opportunity to take a number of steps. The underground metro system itself is the perfect place to start. While escalators are an option, you’ll often notice that commuters will readily take the stairs.

Taking the stairs is a great way to get fit, but if you don’t have public transport in your home town, use your stairs at home as a way to get fit. Whether you go up and down them just for exercise, or delight in forgetting something you needed upstairs, taking an extra flight or two each day will give you a cardiac boost.

Take everything in your stride

Another way Parisians stay fit is to walk as much as possible. It helps that the French capital is highly walkable — and of course, the many strikes mean the citizens often have to resort to using their two feet to get about. But there’s also a mindset that going the extra mile is worth the effort.

While some city dwellers will get off the metro a stop earlier than their final destination, others will eschew the underground completely and walk to work. Of course, you might not take public transport at all, but a simple daily walk will certainly do wonders for your body and mental health.

Eat light late at night

It’s sure that the French really appreciate their food. However, it’s all about balance. They’ll enjoy a light breakfast, have a substantial lunch, and then have something like a salad or soup for dinner.

But that’s not to say they don’t know how to have a good evening meal with friends. If inviting guests for dinner Parisians will abstain from eating too much in the day and the meal will be balanced and generally the portions will be reasonable. Although there’s always room for a delicious dessert and cheese.

Choose ingredients wisely

As food plays an important role in the lives of Parisians, they will often opt to eat fresh food and vegetables from one of the many street markets. While organic foods are also popular, they’re often pricier, but any fresh produce is a better alternative to the processed foods out there.

See the great outdoors as a means to exercise

As in lots of urban places, the beautiful parks in Paris provide the perfect place to join in group exercise classes. However, the French will also use their weekends to get away from the capital and go to one of the many forests that surround the capital to get some exercise and breathe in some fresh air.

The great news is that wherever you live there’s usually somewhere close by to visit that can allow you to recharge your batteries and get a little exercise … all while admiring God’s creation.

Catholic LifestyleFranceHealth and Wellness
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