I know there are people out there who can’t imagine travelling without finding a way to incorporate their physical activity regimen (*hands are up here*). Prior to boarding any plane/bus/train I always scout out yoga studios along with areas to get in a good run. Yet, while free outdoor activities, like walking and running, are ideal for short city breaks and long-term travels, the weather isn’t always conducive to our physical fitness whims. There are also some cities, such as Cairo, where the pollution and external environment make it far more preferable to stick a fork in one’s eye than go for a run outside (unless you’re running in December/January on a Friday morning at 07:30am with a group of people).
In Cairo, like any other large metropolis, there are many places to get in a good workout. For yoga and pilates there are studios scattered around the city, from Yalla Yoga in Heliopolis to the Breathing Room in Maadi and Nūn Center in Zamalek. If you’re into gyms there’s Gold’s, Oxygen Gym and Finesse 4 Ladies (all with locations around Cairo), along with the Fitness and Dance Academy (Zamalek) and handfuls of other independently run centers around Egypt’s capital.
One new gym that opened its doors quite recently is Body Shapers Egypt (with locations in Mohandissen and Zamalek). The Zamalek branch is located in an old villa with elegant high ceilings, a grandiose entry hall and several modestly sized rooms that house state of the art gym equipment. Downstairs there’s a cardio room with several treadmills, bikes and ellipticals that sits adjacent to two open areas where you can spend time pumping iron. These rooms are located just down the hall from a few others that are earmarked for aerobics, modern dance, pilates, Zumba and martial arts.
Upstairs there’s a smaller fitness room for women only, which is well equipped with several cardio and weightlifting machines. The changing rooms are located on either side of the women’s fitness room and while small, they are clean and come with a jacuzzi, sauna and steam room so you can indulge in a post-workout spa session and soothe your blasted muscles.
I unfortunately came across Body Shapers nine months too late (my first visit was a week before I departed Cairo), but if I had the chance to do it all again I’d certainly give Body Shapers a trial run for three to six months. Not only is the space lovely, but the staff are helpful and friendly and the price quality for a membership is comparable to what other centers are offering around the city.
Even the cost of a day pass is so reasonable 125LE ($18) that I wouldn’t think twice about spending an early morning at Body Shapers, running, toning and steaming myself silly.
And enjoying every minute of it, of course.
Body Shapers Personal Training Studio
11 Ibrahim Osman St.
Mohandessin, Giza, Egypt
Body Shapers Palace
9 Al Adel Abou Bakr St.
El Zamalek, Giza, Egypt.