As Californians, we’ve successfully underestimated the wonders of having a gym as readily available as a Starbucks coffee. Boy and girl had memberships to some of the finest gyms the Bay Area has to offer and we miss them almost as much as a spicy enchilada. Of all the amazing things Paris has to offer, health clubs aren’t one of them. It simply isn’t in the culture. We get that. But it’s really difficult.
Working out is an American trend that is slowly making its way to this side of the pond, like rap music and cupcakes, but like all trends, they start out expensive. Even the cheapest gym we’ve found in Paris is more expensive than a Crunch membership (and there weren’t instructors for group classes! Just videos that play in loops!). That said, we’ve been trying to battle our baguette-belly’s on the cheap, doing at-home workouts – which is quite a sight as our studio is the size of a big dog house – running and jump roping in the park. As winter is slowly approaching, girl is confident that sub-zero temperatures (Celsius) will keep her Asics packed away and vin chaud will warm her up instead of a good jog. We’ve decided to cave and are actively searching for a gym to call home.
But for those who are visiting or aren’t ready to take the plunge, there are ways to stay in shape in Paris – as long as you are motivated! Parks like the Buttes Chaumont, Jardin des Tuileries and Jardin du Luxembourg are great for site-seeing and exercising au même temps. For a visit outside of the city, Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes are just a metro stop away. Among girl’s favorites are the long, flat quai’s of the Seine and a twisted, hilly, early morning run around Montmartre – you can even have your own “Rocky” moment at the top of the Sacre Coeur stairs!