From the 15th floor windows of my New York City apartment, I have a clear view of a big and many windowed "health center," (aka a four-story gym complex). September is one of the gym’s busiest months. Right after Labor Day, active women, who I hope are incorporating daily outdoor activities with a seasonal summer flavor into their daily routines, flock indoors to the gym and an artificial routine of treadmills, exercise bikes and medieval torture devices. I see them sweating early mornings and late at night from my windows. I see them going and coming from my daily walk as I pass the gym.
It is a sign of the times — but also our American culture — that many women seem to have only two modes: sitting or spinning. They’re either avoiding even the slightest heart rate increase (like those women in my apartment building who take the elevator to the second floor) or they’re sentencing themselves to hours at the gym as punishment for their indulgences throughout the day. So often I see the begrudging look on women’s faces and hear the phrase, "I don’t want to go to the gym, but I have to." Pourquoi? If you are eating mindfully, and eating the correct portion sizes, you don’t have to torture yourself on those metal contraptions or run a marathon to stay trim. French women reject the notion of "no pain, no gain," opting for a more pleasurable notion of mild, sustained exertion. We prefer all-day movement, what I like to call "the slow burn," and we practice it as second nature instead of attacking it like boot camp. Read more
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
4 Ways French Women Stay Thin (without the Gym)
There's nothing wrong with lifting weights or doing aerobics, but some women just don't like going to the gym to do their workouts. Does that mean they're doomed to a life of creeping weight gain and poor health? Not at all. French women are famous for their svelte figures, but they don't get them from working out at the gym. Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, reveals four ways French women stay thin (without the gym).