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French phrase of the day: Rester en forme

French phrase of the day: Rester en forme
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
It's just become a little more challenging but it's a highly important thing to do.

Why do I need to know rester en forme?

It's generally good advice for life, but you will see it around a lot at the moment, along with advice on how to do so in the current circumstances.

What does it mean?

It means stay in shape or stay fit.

And it's topical because France's lockdown means taking physical exercise is difficult, so you will see a profusion of advice on how to stay fit within the confines of your own home.

While Germany has come up with a word specifically to describe the weight you will gain while in confinement (coronaspeck – literally corona fat) in France it's all about staying in shape.

 

So you will be tripping over articles with titles like Comment rester en forme en période de confinement? – How to stay in shape during lockdown?

Sept exercises pour rester en forme pendant le confinement – Seven exercises to stay fit during lockdown.

It's not only a lockdown phrase of course, and French cities are generally full of people running, cycling or using urban gyms to do just that.

In fact during the heatwave of 2019, Parisians had to be very sternly told by the health minister to stop jogging at midday, as the temperatures topped 40C.

So you might hear people say: Je fais du pilates tous les jours pour rester en forme, et puis je cours le week-end – I do pilates every day to stay fit and I run at the weekends.

The other similar phrase is garder la forme – to stay in shape

Il a la cinquantaine, mais il garde la forme et il est très beau – He's in his 50s but he stays in shape and he's very handsome.
 
Meanwhile if you're not the sporty type but you want to start, you would use the phrase mettre au sport – to get fit.

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