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Digital edge: Floating gym in Paris

After all that Christmas feasting, going to the gym to shave off all the festive calories sounds like a very practical idea. But if you’re like most of us uninspired souls, dragging yourself straight to the gym after the celebrations would seem like such a chore. To keep yourself motivated, you could sign yourself up at a gym with an awe-inspiring view – or you could exercise while travelling on one of the world’s famed rivers, right through the heart of Paris.

The Paris Navigating Gym is a new design proposal in which you exercise while sailing along the Seine, looking over Paris riverbanks and skyline. The only catch: you’ll have to power it.

(Image credit: Carlo Ratti Associati)

A product of collaboration between design and innovation firm Carlo Ratti Associati, fitness equipment manufacturer Technogym, architecture nonprofit Terraform One and urban regeneration institute URBEM, the 65-foot-long boat is basically a floating gym.

With a design inspired by the Seine’s traditional ferry boats, Bateaux Mouches, the gym features bikes and cross-trainer machines that harness the energy generated by passenger’s workouts – which fuel the vessel’s electric propellers.

Seine’s traditional ferry boats, Bateaux Mouches. (Image credit: Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau)

The work-out powered boat can accommodate up to 45 people, with an augmented-reality display that shows the energy being generated in real time. We really can’t think of a better fitness motivation.

Additionally, supplementary photovoltaic solar cells on the roof would provide energy to fuel the movement of the boat. This way, even if you’ve exerted yourself too much, you won’t find yourself stuck in the middle of the Seine river obstructing (water) traffic.

(Image credit: Carlo Ratti Associati)

If you’re already making travel plans to Paris, hold your horses. Further analyses would need to be conducted to see how feasible the proposal is before the vision could become a reality. It has been estimated that the boat could be fully designed, built and tested in 18 months – so it is not so far-fetched, after all.

Dewi Nurjuwita
Senior Writer
Dewi Nurjuwita is a travel and design writer who can be found exploring the streets of foreign cities with passport in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.