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A guide to fitness in France

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

The urban areas of France provide a diverse selection of methods to keep active, ranging from the low-intensity activity of boules to high-intensity sports like cycling and rugby.

French sports are known for their appreciation of both traditional and contemporary aspects. Football, rugby, tennis, and cycling are the sports that have the most spectators in France. The ancient French games of pétanque and boules are still played in the town square by senior citizens. The French trot, often known as le trotter, is a kind of horse racing in which the rider sits astride a two-wheeled buggy. Additionally, one may get in shape in France via a variety of other activities.


The southern coast of France, known as the Côte d'Azur, is home to several outdoor swimming pools and beaches. It is important to verify this information before you go to any of the beaches since some of them charge an admission fee. During the summer months, many beaches provide designated sections just for families as well as a variety of activities for people to participate in. The Vegaluna beach in Cannes, for instance, is open the whole year through (except from the 14th to the 26th of November), and it offers toys and a summer club for children during the summer break from noon to 4:00 in the afternoon. Even though some of Monaco's beaches are private, the principality is home to a large number of beaches overall.


Rugby is becoming more popular as a spectator sport in France. The national squad takes part in the Six Nations Championship as well as matches against other heavyweight teams like South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, there are a great number of amateur rugby clubs, such as the British Rugby Club of Paris, which was established in 1923. The club participates in both friendly matches and even tours. Throughout the years, the club has been quite competitive, and as a result, they have won first place in the Corporate League on several occasions. Everyone is welcome to play at the club, regardless of their skill level or country of origin.


Even though France is not the most bicycle-friendly country in the world, many French people have a strong passion for sport. Consider the degree to which the Tour de France, which is France's most important yearly athletic event, stokes the fires of patriotism throughout the country (usually just referred to as the Tour). On the weekends, motorists on rural roads are aware that they need to be on the lookout for cyclists. These cyclists may be groups of speed riders on sleek bicycles getting ready for local events, or they could be individuals out for an afternoon ride.

During the summer months, local cyclists are joined on the roads and cycleways by an ever-increasing number of foreign cycle-tourists who are taking advantage of the chances that France provides for long-distance rides or circuits. It is important to note that bicycles may be brought into many trains in France free of charge; but, on regional trains, a spot for your bike must in principle be reserved when you purchase your ticket.


A membership at a gymnasium or fitness center is not as common in France as it is in other countries in Europe. Despite this, it has been progressively gaining more and more popularity over the years. There are public and private gyms in France. Private gyms tend to be more expensive. Private gyms often charge higher membership fees, but they provide superior exercise facilities. The hours of operation for private fitness centers are normally Monday through Sunday, 7:00 am to 22:00.


The sport of boules, sometimes referred to as pétanque, is perhaps the one that the French take the most pride in playing. The French version of a game that is quite similar to lawn bowling or bocce is historically played with metallic balls on a dirt surface under simple trees while a glass of pastis is held in one's hand. The local boulodrome serves as a community hub and gathering place in southern France. The objective of the game is to either hit the tiny object ball (cochonnet) in such a manner that it is driven toward your other balls and away from your opponent's balls, or to throw your balls in such a way that they fall closer to the small object ball (cochonnet) than those of your opponent. A set of three steel boules is the sole piece of equipment that can be considered necessary.



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