PARIS FITNESS

Keeping fit in Paris is easy, fun and an essential element of expat joie de vivre. Whether you’re looking for a gym, a Pilates trainer, Zumba, dance classes or tennis courts, Paris offers plenty of choices. Don't miss the list of Upcoming Events. Questions, see the FAQ below. And to hear about life on rue Cler and other miscellany, check out my Paris culture blog!

FLASH ON FITNESS

Paris Fitness: In case you don't see the links above, here are the fitness classes I offer a la carte at the American Church: Zumba twice a week, dynamic cardio jam twice a week, plus one session of ultimate body-sculpt and one of Pilates mat. Open to all, year-round, see www.parisfitness.com/Fitness/aeroSchedule.htm

Vélib': Over 20,000 bicycles at 1,800 stations for quickie use all around Paris! Pick up a bike near the Hotel de Ville and drop it off half an hour later near that restaurant next to Porte Maillot where you're meeting friends. A year-long subscription to the 24/7 service costs 30€, for 30 minutes at a time. For visitors, two short-term subscriptions are available, by the week for 5€ or better yet, daily for 1€. Details are posted on the site in English in a pdf, or check out Wikipedia on the subject.

Parisinfo.com: A good site for Paris activities in general, with a smaller site in English here. Also www.Paris.fr is good for the list of swimming pools and tennis courts. Or try calling the city's hotline (French-speaking) by dialing 3975. Looking for city-approved guided tours? Here's a list.

Paris Respire: It's year-round - the city closes the quais and a number of areas in different quartiers to cars on Sundays, from 9h-17h, opening them to cyclists, bladers and pedestrians.

Weekly bicycle randonnées: Every Friday night, night, a group bicycle ride through Paris starting at 21h30 from the Hotel de Ville, with a different itinerary each week, posted at the website Paris Rando Velo or tel: 06.63.71.20.30. Also the 3rd Sunday of each month, a group ride starting at 10h30 from the Hotel de Ville. Or if you want to take a bike tour of Paris, try this city-provided list for bikers and skaters ("rollers").

Roller bladers: Paris Rollers have been skating for over 10 years! The meeting point for the weekly Friday Night Fever skate is at Gare Montparnasse. Time: 21h45 for a distance of approx. 25kms or 3 hours. Beginners not encouraged, and it's cancelled if raining. For info and route map, see www.pari-roller.com or in English, here. For those less experienced, join the ride on Sunday afternoons at 14h30 at Place de la Bastille - for route map, consult the Rollers et Coquillage site, see www.rollers-coquillages.org. Or check out the tourism office resources at www.parisinfo.com, click on "Excursions".

Yoga & reiki - Newly arrived, Stephanie Jiroch, yoga instructor and certified reiki practitioner teaches 1:1 and small-group classes to English-speaking expats and Americans visiting Paris. Contact her at stephanie@stephaniejiroch.com

Paris Running Tour - Here's another way to see Paris - 10K running tours offered by the president of the Paris Triathlon Team. Pricey, but you cover a lot of ground and a bit of sweat. For info and to sign up go to http://parisrunningtours.com.

Seeking salsa? Susan Sparks, veteran dance prof, teaches a salsa portoricaine class for beginners at the Centre de Danse du Maraise, on Tuesdays from 20h30-22h. If you're interested, get in touch at susan@dancesparks.com

Musee national du sport: Yep, Paris actually has a sports museum, with some great-sounding exhibitions. It's near the national library in the 13th, at 93 avenue de France, info here: www.museedusport.fr

Dancing on the quai: Got a taste for tango? Whim for a waltz? Dancers gather every weekend at the quai St Bernard in the 5th, square Tino Rossi, with a boombox and a warm welcome for newbies. Best known is the group on Sunday afternoons.

If you are looking for a sports partner for tennis, running, squash, etc, post a short ad by sending an email to awbenney@parisfitness.com, and it will go up below. Or sign up to the Paris Fitness and Martial Arts Meetup Group. Craigslist also has some notices, under fitness activities, see paris.craigslist.org.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Sunday, 13 October
Les 20 kilometres de Paris - annual Parisian race, with the start and the finish at the Eiffel Tower. To register and for more info, see: www.20kmparis.com/web/index.asp.

14-18 October
Fund for Living - as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Dailey Method Paris studio is donating 100% of income from classes this week to Breast Health International, including a yoga class Lisa Laney & Puressence on the 17th at 11h. 71 av Victor Hugo, 16th, see www.thedaileymethod.fr

17 October
Nike run - Join the run down the Champs Elysees with the Nike Running France group. Info on the store's Facebook page

30 October - 3 November
Salon du Chocolat - do you need to know more? Feast your eyes on their website - the theme this year is magic. At Porte Versailles, see: www.salonduchocolat.fr/accueil.aspx - or follow on Twitter at salonchocolat.

30 October - 3 November
Paris Games Week - This is not a pre-Olympics, but the potato couch variety, a fantasy week for geeks into video games. Point your controller to Porte Versailles, see:www.parisinfo.com/sortie-paris/102780/Paris-Games-Week.

28 November - 2 December
Salon des vignerons independents - If wine is really that good for you, the Salon des Vignerons counts as a health salon. It's a marathon of wine-tasting at Porte de Versailles, for only 6 euros.

Sunday, 15 December
Corrida de Noel - A Santa Claus10k race in Paris, where the runners are obliged to come in costume. Sounds like fun, lots of music and activities for the whole family, with hot wine and hot chocolate offered at the end of the race. At Issy-les-Moulineaux, more info here.

Sunday, 2 March
Paris Semi-Marathon - Sign up for the 21.1km run through Paris. Info and registration at www.semideparis.com.

2-9 March
Race to the Sun, annual cycling race from Paris to Nice, information soon to be here www.letour.com.

Saturday, 29 March
Earth Hour - Tonight between 20h30-21h30 switch off your lights - it's a global event to draw attention to and support efforts to fight climate change. Follow twitter.com/EarthHour.

Sunday, 6 April
Paris Marathon - Register now, before the max of 50,000 runners gets reached. Otherwise catch Saturday's breakfast run: www.parismarathon.com/
or follow on Twitter at MarathonParis

25 May - 8 June (tbc)
Roland Garros Tennis Open, the celebrated tennis tournament on clay courts, check out the site (also in English). Good tickets are hard to come by, so reserve in advance, starting in December. Tel: 01.47.43.48.00.

5 July
Tour de France - The best-known bicycle race in the world kicks off its 101st year from Leeds. Info here www.letour.com/le-tour/2013/us/grand-depart-2014.html
or follow on Twitter at letour

19 July to 23 August
Paris plage - I know, it's a long way away, but imagine the sun, the sand, the Seine...

LOOKING FOR A SPORTS PARTNER

Join the Paris Lacrosse team, men & women. Training every Monday evening from 19h30-21h at Stade Jean Moulin in Suresnes-Mont Valerien. For more information: lacrossparis.wordpress.com or email: staff@paris-lacrosse.fr.

A female soccer club, ES16, is recruiting soccer players of all ages to play competition soccer matches in the Paris league. For information call Patrice Bardin, tel: 06.10.37.66.05, or email pbardin@club-internet.fr.

Paris Sunday Softball, fun, friendly, multilingual, in its 30th year, seeks new and experienced players, female and male. If interested, send a note with your phone number to David Curtis at curtis@msh-paris.fr.

The ACBB Rugby club in the Bois de Boulogne is recruiting players. It is a team of 30-something guys who train on Wednesday evenings and generally play one match a month. For more information, see www.acbb-rugby.com or contact binksfamily@aol.com.

FAQ

Q: I am coming to Paris for a week and a half. I am a triathlete and I teach Pilates and Spinning. I want to run outside while I am there, as well as possibly taking a spin class or two. I did find a Pilates option already. I am staying near Odeon and was hoping to be able to run around Luxemburg Gardens.
Can I hope to run a longer run at least once--I will need one 10+ miler for a race I am training for in Feb. Is there an indoor lap pool I could pay a daily use fee? Are there any Spin classes at a local club that also has a daily fee, and do I need my Spin shoes???

A: For running, a lot of people now run in Paris, and you could do a longer run in one of the two parcs on either side of Paris (Bois de Boulogne or Bois de Vincennes). If you are looking for a running partner I could put your email on my website.
The city has lots of public pools for laps swimming that are inexpensive. Here's a list. On the other hand, you are staying right around the corner from one of Paris's most historic public pools, the Piscine Pontoise. The address is 19 rue de Pontoise, off bvd St. Germain, in the 5th, near Metro Maubert-Mutualite. It's part of the Club Quartier Latin, www.clubquartierlatin.com, but you don't need to be a member to use it.

Spin classes - the Club Med Gym and Vit'Halles chains both offer spinning, and they do have day passes, but it's not very cheap. If you go to each of their sites you can see at which facility they offer what is probably called cycling. There should be an email contact and you can ask about fees - even in English. Just make sure you ask whether they're open the dates you will be here.

Q: Being new to Paris, I was wondering if you might be able to point me in the direction of a good fitness equipment store (free weights, etc.)?

A: When I need sports stuff I generally head to Decathlon, a sports chain with a few outlets in Paris, at metro Wagram, metro Madeleine and metro Balard (Aquaboulevard), good value for money. Go Sport is another good sports chain, at metros Republique, Montparnasse, Les Halles.

MORE

If you like to work out, you probably also like to eat. I love to browse David Lebovitz's website - it's not only pretty, he has lots of useful information, restaurants, tips for newbies, etc.

Looking for metaphysics, Reiki, meditation? Jane Grey has been providing good vibes for the Paris community since 1984.