5 Health Tips I Learned in Paris


Travel offers such an amazing opportunity to learn about lifestyles in other countries. Our family had a wonderful holiday in Paris this past April, and we were impressed by the art, architecture, food, and people. Like a souvenir, it's fun to consider what daily traits we can bring home to our own life. As part of Elan Family Wellness Centre's theme of #mindfulnessmay, here are a few tips to ponder:

5 Health Tips I Learned in Paris

  1. Take the stairs-Whether it's 3 flights down in the Metro to catch a train, or 2 flights up to your apartment, be prepared for both stairs and walking to keep you in shape. In a dense city where driving and parking a car looks nearly impossible, walking is key. Here in Calgary, there's not as much choice for getting your daily exercise, but is there a way to bring more walking or exercise into your routine in our spread out, commuter-friendly North American city?
  2. Keep the fat-Yes, France is know for their buttery croissants, pain du chocolate, and artisanal breads, and they've kept the healthy fats with other foods such as foie gras, liver pates, cheeses and rich sauces. Those fats are so good for our bodies, and the french diet seemingly combats the breads and sweets. (Have I mentioned the breads? Much easier to digest than our North American counterpart-whether its less GMO's, fewer preservatives, or the increased attention to preparation. Whatever it is, their diet does not affect the waistline the same way as ours.)
  3. Let the kids play-A visit to a local playground shows us that some risky play is a good thing. Never mind a few head injuries that I may have witnessed, we saw rope swings, suicide drop slides, and teeter-totters with full vestibular stimulation (ie. It moves in ALL directions just to keep you alert). I heard there's fewer kids with ADHD in France? Hmm...
  4. Cafe lifestyle-Sitting back and chatting over an espresso, or a couple glasses of wines, the cafes encourage you to relax, spend some time people watching and connect with your companions. We may have spent more of our slow time in parks so the kids could run, but the idea of building some down time in our days is very tempting and needed in our harried busy city days.
  5. Don't stress over it-I've heard people complain about service in France-people provide slow service, are less responsive to every need... This may be a combination that pay is based less on commission & tips compared to us, and that the people are generally more laid back than us. Our city is a pretty high pace, work at break neck speed (what is that expression?) that we could learn from instead stressing over oh-so many details and our quest for perfection.

In MY recent quest for perfection from Paris, for all of the perfect chocolates, coffees, macarons, ice creams, wines, pain du chocolates, meals, pieces of art work, crazy towers, beautiful spring blossoms, and more, you've inspired me to bring a little bit of Paris home! It sounds like the French lifestyle has some benefits for my health, brain, and overall quality of life. 

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