This year, an increasing number of Saudi Arabians are getting off the couch and into more active lifestyles as the Kingdom ramps up efforts to boost exercise and sports participation. From taking up walking a few times a week, to attending weekly classes or clubs, to hardcore gym enthusiasts and committed sports people, the numbers don’t lie:
23 percent of Saudis are now exercising more than once a week, up from a 2015 survey figure of 13 percent, higher than the interim Vision 2030 target of getting 20 percent of Saudis over 15 years old exercising by 2020.
As more Saudis embrace active lifestyles, and as women in particular become more present on roads through running and biking collectives and in gyms opting for intense sports and exercise routines, here is a selection of gyms in major cities that have become local favorites:
1. Z Club
On its website, the first line you’ll read is “Leave the real world behind you” and it’s not difficult to see why. If you’re looking for a top-notch gym with a VIP feel, then Z Club is definitely the choice for you. Located in Jeddah, this clubhouse offers a spa, swimming pools, and even a restaurant. With the latest gym equipment, lounges, and trained staff, Z Club makes exercising not only enjoyable but luxurious as well.
2. Curves Gym
If you’re looking for a gym that caters to just women, then Curves is a good option. This international brand of gym offers a 30-minute fitness routine created specifically for women, as well as a complete nutrition solution. The gym claims that its half-an-hour workout targets every major muscle group and burns up to 500 calories through a proven program of strength training, cardio, and stretching, allowing you to squeeze in a decent amount of exercise into your busy schedule.
3. Interval Plus CrossFit
Located in the capital city of Riyadh, Interval Plus CrossFit offers two branches, one for women and one for men. Across the world, the CrossFit program has become a craze due to its versatility and effectiveness. Whether your goals are weight loss, gaining muscle, or increasing endurance, CrossFit gyms offer a wide variety of exercises including running, rowing, gymnastics, weight training, and weightlifting techniques. If you need further convincing, check out Interval Plus CrossFit’s Instagram page for inspirational images.
4. NuYu Fitness
One of the leading chains of boutique fitness centers for women in Saudi Arabia, NuYu is definitely a favorite choice for many. This is a complete health club, offering not just a gym space, but a spa, health food cafe, dance, yoga, xtreme fitness zone with TRX, spinning studio, kick boxing, and many more adventures sports. It also offers internationally certified trainers, world-class equipment, and beautiful studios in each of its locations across the Kingdom.