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Money-Saving Nano Workouts in Paris

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Paris steps
In Paris, climb every mountain, 'till you burn off those macarons. Photo: davearquati

The French might not be famous gym rats, but Paris does have plenty of sports facilities for those looking for a serious workout as well as cheap ways to stay fit.

Visitors can find plenty of ways to maximize physical activity throughout the day that will help offset macaron binges or other excesses that generally come with the territory of being on vacation.

Here are some easy ways to burn calories without taking time for a formal work out, and save yourself some money in the process.

Walk Everywhere

Paris is an eminently walkable city designed to be explored on foot, and you can traipse from one end of the city to another in about two hours or less. Be sure to bring broken in walking shoes, especially if you’re not used to hoofing it much at home.

If you want to get nerdy about it, plot your walks online to gauge how many kilometers it will take to get from point a to point b and to figure out the best route. Walking everywhere will help you keep fit and save you money on Métro tickets and taxis.

Stay in a Walk Up

Not every Paris hotel or apartment building comes with an elevator, and staying in a walk-up is a sure way to burn a few extra calories as you come and go. Staying in walk-up accommodations usually means that you are spending less money on housing as well, sparing your wallet as well as your waistline.

Climb Every Mountain

The area around Sacre Coeur and Montmartre is perched on a hill and filled with sweeping staircases that you can use to bolster your activity for the day and get your blood pumping, and there’s a king-of-the-world feeling that comes when you reach the top of the hill and take in the breathtaking views.

Be Your Own Sherpa

Whether you’re hauling a load of apples home from the farmers market or carrying a backpack or a tote bag full of supplies all day means that you will be burning a few extra calories and keeping your arm, shoulder and back muscles working along with your legs.

Take the Steps

Climb the 387 steps to the top of Notre Dame or 300 steps to the Tour St. Jacques, or 284 steps up the Arc de Triomphe or up two levels of the Eiffel Tower (300 steps a piece; to get to the top you usually have to take an elevator) for a somewhat dizzying and claustrophobic workout that nevertheless will be rewarded with a sumptuous view.

About the author

Kristin Hohenadel

Kristin Hohenadel is a writer and editor who lives in Paris.

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