LOCAL ON THE HEALTH SCENE IN PARIS
An insider’s take on the chicest workout spots and healthy eateries in the City of Light
In our new series, we’re asking fit correspondents based in cities around the world to let us in on the hottest workouts, chicest health-focused eateries, fitness trends, and more in their city.
The Paris health scene is new and exciting. Although coconut oil now has pride of place on the shelf of my local supermarket, to some Parisians, health still means glugging a liter of freshly-squeezed orange juice after a power walk around Parc Monceau. Many still start the day with a cigarette and half a croissant.
Still, there are healthy restaurants popping up all over the city. (See some of them below.) And many of them are cool and hip places to be seen. It’s common now to Instagram your weekend brunch at a new Paris health hotspot.
But fromage and charcuterie still feature prominently at the plethora of classic French restaurants that will never go out of style. With my service, I want to show Parisians they can have both the hip, new healthy foods that are good for them, and the ones that their culture is known for.
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The yoga movement is definitely more progressive and has been growing for quite a while now. More recently, though, there has been an increase in new workout spots popping up in Paris, from affordable gyms to cycling studios and more. (See specific examples below.) I have also noticed an increase in running groups. In fact, just outside my window, a large group gathers every Tuesday to run the 'Rues' of Montmartre. They return an hour later and spill into the bar opposite to refuel on beer and cigarettes. This perfectly sums up Paris to me (wink). Weight lifting is still slow on the uptake. When I go to the gym, I am one of maybe two women who to go in that section. Women are more likely to take group exercise classes like cycling, for example.
But, unlike in New York and London, Parisians don’t seem to be as quick to broadcast their love for their workouts of choice. They wouldn't like to be perceived as a ‘workout addict.’ Where I live in the 9th arrondissement, I can walk the streets wearing my gym clothes (I did it today in fact) and not get stared at, although I am definitely in the minority. If you go over to the left bank, though, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in workout clothes, it would be frowned upon, I think. I certainly wouldn't dare!