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France: Healthy living around the World

Popular exercises

Wherever you go in France, you’re sure to bump into the odd cyclist along the way. Cycling in the great outdoors is a very popular form of exercise in France, both on and off-road.

Benefits

As well as being a great form of exercise, cycling can be a very practical sport to get into, and it can be sociable, too. You can tie it into your daily routine by cycling to and from work, or heading out on weekend bike-rides with friends and family.

Cycling is good for overall health as well as toning the legs, and what’s more it’s gentler on your joints than, for example, running on a treadmill.

The French diet

For the French, food and mealtimes are something to be enjoyed, rather than a rushed necessity as they can often be. Most mealtimes take longer in France, and portion sizes are generally smaller, too. This means people only eat what they need, as by eating more slowly, it gives the brain time to register when the stomach is full.

Processed food is also not as popular as it is in the UK. Fresh fruit, vegetables and meat are much more common ingredients, with fish being much more popular, too.

French meals often consist of several courses, and are usually accompanied by red wine, although the health benefits of red wine are somewhat debated.

Benefits

As it takes the brain approximately 15 minutes to register when the stomach is full, eating more slowly means you are much less likely to over-eat. Eating more natural, healthy foods to replace processed foods is also very beneficial for your health, as it’s much easier to maintain a balanced diet this way.

 

Sources

http://www.completefrance.com/living-in-france/the_living_france_guide_to_sport_and_exercise_in_france_1_1667465

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/Cycling.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-french-diet

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/05May/Pages/Resveratrol-red-wine-chemical-overhyped.aspx

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