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Columnists > Kim Defforge

Kim Defforge

Staying Fit On The French Riviera

  Posted Friday November 08, 2013 (05:48:53)   (3826 Reads)


Kim Defforge

With an average of 300 days of Mediterranean sunshine per year, the Nice area is an ideal place for walking, hiking, biking, and just staying in shape in general. Along the 7 km Promenade des Anglais, it’s easy to walk, rollerblade, and bicycle along the sea without feeling like you are getting a workout. The new 12-hectare/26 acre park, named Promenade du Paillon, provides green space walkways with fountains to leisurely stroll through the heart of the city.

If more intense activity is your game, here are three levels of walks:

Easy – From the church at the Port of Nice to the Nice Airport, it is a 12 km. flat and smooth walkway with panoramic views of the sea along the way. You can choose your own pace: walk, jog, or stroll; just be mindful of the designated bicycle lane.

Medium – A coastal walk around the peninsula of St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat includes designated pedestrian walkways and steps, with lovely views of Nice, Beaulieu, and Monaco. There are several lengths of walks, averaging about 2 hours, mapped out at the Tourist Office.

Difficult – Walking from Eze-sur-Mer up to Eze Village, which is about 400 meters higher, includes hundreds of steps and takes about 1 ½ hours. The terrain becomes a rocky, winding trail, with Roman steps.

The Nice Triathlon Iron Man and Nice Marathon are two annual competitions held on the Promenade des Anglais. In winter, ski resorts (Auron, Isola 2000, and Valberg) are only 2 hours by bus from Nice, for an outing of fresh air and beautiful mountain views.

There are numerous walking clubs and fitness centers, one being FitHub that offers yoga on the beach, for a lovely and peaceful experience.

The following are excerpts from an interview with Colette Kent, founder and owner of FitHub.

Q: Fitness has come a long way from simple step and yoga classes. Tell me about this.

Variety is the spice of life and this is true for fitness also. It’s important to vary your fitness routine, not only to prevent boredom but also to make sure that you develop a balanced body and preventing repetitive strain injuries. Including cardio, strength and flexibility into your weekly routine will keep you injury-free. Fitness centres are offering more variety of classes to meet client’s needs and this results in new and exciting classes.

Q: What’s the difference between a fitness center like yours and the gym?

When you walk into the FitHub you realize it’s not your average gym, but is a boutique fitness studio with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. With the high ceilings, wooden floors and smell of essential oils, it offers our clients a beautiful place to exercise. FitHub also offers a personal approach with a huge emphasis on the community. It’s a place for people not only to exercise, but also to meet other like-minded people and to connect in an increasingly disconnected world. We regularly organize social events, from an after-class coffee or drinks to dinner, providing an opportunity for people to mingle.

Q: FitHub has a huge variety of classes on the schedule. Tell me about these?

The FitHub philosophy is that fitness is for everybody. We have a great variety of classes for all ages and all fitness levels, from 6 weeks to retirees. Everyone is sure to find something that suits them on the schedule. FitHub also has a variety of class times to meet our client’s needs, morning classes for parents after the school run, lunchtime classes and after-work classes as well as Saturday and Sunday morning.

We limit the classes to 12 people maximum. Clients can book their space in class online on the FitHub website (www.fithub.net) and have the peace of mind knowing that their space is held for them in class.

Q: What new trends are there at the moment in this area?

The big trend at the moment is Yoga and Ballet Tone classes. FitHub offers Yoga classes on Hi Beach every Saturday morning (9-10 a.m.) throughout the summer. Practicing yoga just steps from the Mediterranean, under the shade of a bamboo roof in the private Hi beach is sheer bliss and a great way to start your weekend. People have fallen in love with the hottest trend, Ballet Tone. Ballet Tone is not a dance class, but you will sculpt the tight abs and lean muscles of a dancer with the ballet inspired movements. This low impact workout is suitable for all fitness levels and all age groups.

Q: I believe fitness classes have to be fun to keep people interested. How do you keep it fun?

One of the many quotes hanging on the FitHub wall states, “Fitness needs to be perceived as fun and games or we will subconsciously avoid it.” – Alan Thicke

All the FitHub instructors are energetic and passionate about their classes and this great enthusiastic energy translates into a fun-filled class. Along with a huge variety of classes, the instructors also change the fitness classes every 6 weeks to prevent boredom and to ensure that your body doesn’t plateau. We don’t take ourselves too seriously in FitHub, after all we’re not competitive athletes. We provide our clients a friendly non-intimidating atmosphere in which to exercise under the guidance of a professional instructor and have fun while doing it!

Q: What do you say to people who say they just don’t have the time?

I explain to them the importance of fitness in their lives and that it’s not just physically important but also mentally important to have a regular exercise routine. I explain how exercise will make them feel better by boosting their energy, relieving stress, releasing feel-good chemicals in the brain, building the immune system and in the case of group fitness it adds a social aspect to their day.

Accordingly, a one-hour workout is just 4% of your day, so there are no excuses! The French Riviera is a beautiful setting for multi-level activities to help you stay fit and healthy – come join us!


by Kim inFrance blogger Kim Defforge.

Kim is a lifelong Francophile, and former French teacher. Having moved from the U.S. to the French Riviera, she enjoys writing about France and French culture on her blog, 24/7 in France. From the simple beauty of a Mediterranean sunset to her passion for all things French, Kim shows us that dreams can come true!

Kim Defforge is the author of "Solitary Desire: One Woman's Journey to France" and "Sun, Sea & Savoir-Faire: Travel Focus on the French Riviera".

Read Kim's other Expat Focus articles here or click the button below to view her own blog...



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