A gym in the city of Cologne has made many Muslim women feel at home. After a successful year in business, others want to open up more fitness centers where devout women can get a great work-out while remaining modest. The city of Cologne is a true melting pot, with one of the largest Muslim populations in Germany. In the Ehrenfeld city district, Muslim women who want to be physically fit can follow the lead of female personal trainers at the “Hayat” (which means “life” in Turkish) gym and still keep their clothes on. Whether it’s running on the treadmill, rowing on a machine, or doing aerobics to Turkish pop music, trainers Emine and Yasmin do their best to help modestly dressed Muslim women get in shape. The fitness crowd does not just have access to a full range of gym machines and exercise bikes, they can also take a break in the prayer room. But, you won’t find these women wearing short shorts, flashing skin or working out for the sake of being seen. Many even don headscarves while they work the machines.
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