How to keep your brain and body active while France is on lockdown

It's safe to say that no-one in France will be going to the gym for a while as the coronavirus lockdown continues. So here's how you can stay fit and zen in your own home.

How to keep your brain and body active while France is on lockdown
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

As France has gone on lockdown, many people are finding themselves stuck in their homes, unable to do things like going to the gym or a yoga class, or simply meeting up with their friends in the park.

But there are ways to make lockdown a bearable – perhaps even positive – experience. One such way is using modern technology to help you stay fit and mindful at home. 

Paris City Hall has released this nice easy 30-minute workout that is perfect for those who only have a small space to exercise in.


And for those looking for a regular exercise routine while they are confined to their home, here are five apps that could come in handy.

READ ALSO France in lockdown: What exactly do the new coronavirus restrictions mean?

Photo: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

1. Nike Training Club

Who is it for?

Anyone who wants to get a good work-out on your mat at home (so perfect for a lockdown) and who also likes freedom and flexibility in their workout routine.

What is it?

Nike’s workout app lets you choose a workout based on a wide range of sessions that have been selected based on your fitness level. They have everything from strength to endurance to yoga (this last one is new), and shorter workouts of just 10 minutes to longer ones nearing an hour. 

You can choose your preferred language for the app.

How do I access?

Download the Nike Training Club app on your smartphone and sign up. Then you’re good to go.

Photo: Form on Unsplash

2. Snake&Twist

Who is it for?

Snake&Twist offer classes of power yoga and pilates, sometimes a combination of both. If you want to sweat and stretch your limbs simultaneously, this is for you.

What is it?

It’s normally a rather expensive Parisian hot yoga and pilates studio that has gone completely grassroots during the coronavirus lockdown period, offering a series of free home workouts to help people stay fit in their homes. 

Some of the Snake&Twist teachers speak English while others speak French.

How do I access?

Every day, they publish a new workout on their Instagram account that you can follow live from your living room. Bonus: you're actually working out at the same time as a lot of other people in the same situation as you, so you might feel a little less isolated while doing this workout.

Photo: Victor Freitas on Unsplash

3. Fizzup 

Who is it for?

If you are missing your PT, or if you think having a personal trainer might give you the extra push you need to you out a mat and get your juices flowing.

What is it?

Fizzup markets itself as a “personal trainer in your pocket,” as the app tries to tailor its workout program specifically for you. When you sign up you are asked to choose your age group and how many times you work out usually, plus your goal for signing up (staying fit, losing weight, gaining strength etc.). You will then choose between several different exercises, shorter and longer, all adapted to your stated fitness level.

How do I access?

Go to their website and sign up. You will be asked to sign up for the premium version of the app, but you can access everything above with the free version.

Photo: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

4. Sworkit lite

Who is it for?

Anyone who can’t find the time, energy or motivation to work out, but really wish someone would find it for them.

What is it?

Sworkit is similar to Frizzup in that it too acts as a personal trainer. When signing up it asks you for information about your gender, age, how many times you work out as well as your fitness goals, but also what’s your biggest challenge when it comes to working out (finding the time or lacking motivation for example).

When you’ve entered your information the app will provide you with a weekly workout routine that combines cardio, strength and flexibility and also tells you the days you should rest. 

There's large variation as to how long the exercises take to complete. Busy bees can choose the shortest exercises (some last only 5 minutes) to squeeze in a quick cardio break while juggling work and/or childcare, while those looking for a full session can go for the longest ones (an hour).

You can choose if you want to set the app to French or English.

How do I access?

Easy, go to or download the app on your smartphone and sign up.

Photo:  JD Mason on Unsplash

5. Petit Bambou

Who is it for?

For anyone craving some zen in their lives right now.

What is it?

The French newspaper l’Obs describes it as the “beacon of francophone meditators,” but the app is also accessible in English.

Petit Bambou promises to render users “serene and calm, with a clear mind” – and that just 10 minutes a day is enough to feel the benefits. The app has tailored meditation sessions for different groups people – from pensioners to students to children –  on a wide range of topics, whether it’s dealing with stress, letting go, or simply cooking with conscience.

Parents having to stay home with their children during the coronavirus lockdown might be interested in the “benevolent parenting” program, which “aims to help you keep zen with the kids in any circumstance,” according to l'Obs.

READ ALSO: Ten top tips for keeping kids entertained during France's lockdown 

How do I access?

Go to or download the app on your smartphone. Sign up and you’re ready to roll. Their first programs are free, but for the whole deal you need to get a subscription.


Member comments

  1. Another way to stay fit might be to use a video sharing platform. My weekly sports meet up group did that yesterday, meeting up virtually by using the Zoom app.

  2. Absolutely. We will update this piece a little later with more suggestions. Thank you for the tip!

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