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Cultivating an Active Fitness Community for Women in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, a new wave of fitness is happening. Led by Fatima Batook, a community of forward-thinking, motivated women are developing a new love for fitness. Recently, Fatima opened up Studio55, Saudi Arabia’s first women-only Spinning studio.

Fatima’s story and struggle with fitness began when she was a teenager, and facing health issues due to her weight. When she eventually motivated herself to get to the gym, she noticed an advertisement for spinning classes, stating boldly that you can burn 800 calories per hour. Though she found it intimidating at first, she knew she had to stick to it. She began to really develop a love for spinning and noticed how, in addition to losing weight, she began to feel healthier and happier. She then became an instructor and has been on a mission to change opportunities for fitness for women in the Kingdom.

Despite the many obstacles she faces, Fatima continues to spearhead the fitness movement. In a recent interview with Fluff Magazine, she summarized the importance of such venues for women by saying: “Women in Saudi need an outlet to vent and let go because they are super women—they are full-time mothers, full-time daughter, full-time sisters and full-time wives, plus they have jobs and many other cultural and social commitments. We have a huge responsibility as women in the family and we don’t live independently, therefore we are always in need by someone at some point of time. Female fitness clubs are a place where they can dedicate well-earned time to themselves and free themselves from all the worries and stress of their daily lives, reenergize themselves and become stronger to take on the rest of their days.”

For more information: Read the entire inspiring interview with Fatima here, and if you’re in Saudi, be sure to check out one of her motivating fitness classes and workshops! Follow her on Twitter for more information and updates @FatimaBatook.

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