Working Out In French

Working Out in French

France may be obsessed with their looks, yet few seem willing to work up a sweat for fitness. According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), only 5.4% of France’s population was gym membership as of 2008 compared to 9.5% for Italy and 11.9% for Spain – this could be down to France’s generous healthcare system, cultural preference for outdoor sports activities as well as lack of high quality clubs that are affordable enough for most French citizens.

Gym-goers tend to suffer an image problem in French society, with few celebrities willing to bare their bodies before paparazzi photographers. Some chains have attempted to change perceptions by marketing a more luxurious experience with lavish layouts and high-end equipment; but these clubs are finding growth difficult in an already saturated market. “French skepticism about gym benefits is very strong,” according to one co-founder of L’Usine chain club which counts singer Lenny Kravitz among its clientele.

One challenge facing the industry is its rise of no-frills fitness centers. These inexpensive facilities are popping up across suburban and urban centers, taking business away from luxury chains that struggle to keep up with customer trends. IHRSA’s Hoffman believes the market can improve if government promotes working out as an affordable means of disease prevention.

Some French people appear to be starting to recognize the value of exercise, perhaps as a result of rural mine closures that have left men without work unemployed and an increased awareness of health and wellness that’s driving some to hit up gym classes regularly.

Most athletes will attest to the fact that mental training constitutes the majority of any successful workout regimen. Mental preparation becomes easier once associated with high-value rewards; learning a language may provide that incentive, not to mention improving memory through exercise and changing brain structures to make learning easier – making your workout even more satisfying! When sweating it out at the gym next time try learning French words and phrases as your workout becomes even more fulfilling!

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