This Is How French Women Work Out

mbg Contributor By Leigh Weingus
mbg Contributor
Leigh Weingus is a New York City based freelance journalist writing about health, wellness, feminism, entertainment, personal finance, and more. She received her bachelor’s in English and Communication from the University of California, Davis.
This Is How French Women Work Out

Photo by Stocksy

Doesn't it always seem like French women just have it down?

They're great parents, they don't overeat, and they're effortlessly chic. They drink wine, they have more vacation days than people who live in the United States, and they embrace aging.

I could go on all day about why French women are so damn cool, but I'd rather address a question I've been thinking about a lot lately. Do French women exercise?

Studies show that weight loss and exercise aren't all that connected in the grand scheme of things, so I can't definitively say that they must exercise or they wouldn't be so thin. So, I decided to track down a few French women to find out what the fitness scene is really like across the pond.

Here's what they had to say:

French women don't exercise every day.

No, French women aren't waking up at 5 a.m. for boot camp six days a week. They're exercising a few times a week, and they're usually exercising outside.

"I exercise two or three times per week," Eleanor, a 27-year-old who lives in France, told mbg. "Usually I go running, hiking, or swimming. I can go swimming in a very nice cove, or when I have a party I usually spend a few hours just dancing and jumping everywhere. When I'm too lazy to get out of my apartment or if I don't have time, I do some exercises at home.

Who else wants to get in on that cove?


The boutique fitness scene exists, but they're not into it because eating just the right amount is easy for them.

Chock it up to the amount of addictive food that's available to Americans (looking at you, giant bag of Doritos), but for French women, the concept of putting their fork down as soon as they're full is a basic one.

"There are way too many boutique fitness studios," Eleanor noted. "You have to pay every month for something you might not even use. That's the new commercial trend. You pay when you want to exercise so you can eat more, right? I adopted the opposite. I eat less, so I have to exercise less."

Ah, if it only it were that simple.

French women do YouTube workouts too!

That five-minute arm routine you're doing every morning may not seem like the most glamorous thing, but what if we told you that French women are doing it too?

"I've started running three times per week, but with my job — I'm working at the airport right now — I couldn't keep up anymore, so I looked up YouTube exercises I could do at home," Julie, a 20-something French woman, told mbg. "I found a TRX video I loved because I can do it anywhere, at any time, and I can work all parts of my body."


The way they define exercise is actually pretty great.

"Exercise means using your body to feel good and in shape," Eleanor explained. "I don't like the word 'workout'; it sounds like a hard task when it is supposed to be a pleasure. Maybe that's because it has the word 'work' in it."

Yep, it seems like French women have the whole exercise thing down. And the whole life thing, for that matter.

Want your passion for wellness to change the world? Become A Functional Nutrition Coach! Enroll today to join our upcoming live office hours.


More On This Topic

Total Body Workout

Total Body Workout

Popular Stories


Latest Articles

Latest Articles

Sites We Love

Your article and new folder have been saved!