We were among the first to try the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo's Wellness Tuesday which combines fitness and exercise with nutritious gourmet food and a fabulous massage.
Anytime the Four Seasons Cairo Hotel at Nile Plaza has anything going on, ever, we cancel all other plans and make our way over to the lavish spot because we trust them blindly. As one should. It’s the Four Seasons, people. Anyway, we received an invite to go and try out the first of their Mind & Body Wellness Tuesdays so we made our over there bright and early – not quite bright-eyed and bushy tailed because we’re lazy humans and 9:30 AM is an ungodly hour for us – but ready for whatever they had planned. Bring your swimsuits, we were told. Okay...
We arrived at The Spa, all stunning blue pool and giant skylight, and were told to get changed into our exercise gear so we could begin the workout. Wait, hold up. Exercise? By exercise did they mean the masseuse would be getting some exercise working out the knots in our back as we lay there like beached whales? Surely, this is what they meant. But nope – Therese Eldin from Mamma Boot Camp was setting up matts with laminated labels…and there was a ball. Our fitness levels rival that of an 80-year-old and we were mildly (ready: insanely) worried that we would A) embarrass ourselves in front of the other fit humans and B) possibly get a heart attack mid-workout. But we did neither. Okay maybe a little of the first but whatever.
Eldin, who’s the head trainer of Mamma Boot Camp in Egypt – a training programme that specialises in keeping women, pre and post pregnancy, healthy and fit, but encompasses all female workouts in general – had set up some circuit training for us. With Taylor Swift blasting in the background (Shake it off, SHAKE IT OFF!! Oh! Oh! A-SHAKE IT OFF!) we proceeded to spend 30 seconds at each station, with the exercises ranging from squats to Supermans, bicep curls to dead insects. If you don’t know what some of these are, that’s cool, neither did we. Eldin explained that circuit training strengthens your core and that the specific exercises and movements used in Mamma Boot Camp were not necessarily just pre and post natal, but were targeted specifically at women. Some of the strange-sounding (to us) movements are specifically designed to tone and shape women’s bodies because the typical workouts men do, pushups and whatnot, are designed for just that – men.
After an hour of circuit work, we hopped in the pool for some Aqua Gym. Yes, we had always thought aquatic workouts were for geriatrics, but apparently trainers differ the intensity levels to suit different age groups. And if you thought working out in the water was easy, you just TRY and get a noodle to stay underneath the surface. Having said that, we have decisively concluded that water workouts trump land ones by far. Though the water naturally creates resistance for your muscles, and you can feel it, just the glory of being immersed in water almost makes it feel like you’re not really working out. You don’t sweat grossly, you don’t want to die; it’s just amazing. Once we completed our watery workout (and spent a fair amount of time just lounging in the beautiful pool and simply letting our fingers prune in the water) we dried ourselves and got ready for lunch.
In case you’re not familiar with Bento Boxes, they’re basically adult lunch boxes. They’re meant to give you a tasty nutritious lunch, while still being calorie-conscious. Of course, their original versions in Japan are essentially supermarket buys, but it being the Four Seasons and all, they took the initial idea and made it deliciously lavish, with options between themed lunches; a Seafood Box, Asian Box, Mediterranean Box, and more. The small portions and healthy-ish foods are perfect post-workout. They satisfy those hunger pangs except with the added benefit of NOT containing like, 2,000 calories, and ruining all the effort you just put into burning off calories.
We enjoyed our fresh – and so adorable – seafood box by the pool (salmon, and crab salad, and shrimps, oh my!) and then slipped into our robes, ready for some massage time. Ahh, the wonder of a Balinese massage. All soft music and dimmed lights, every inch of us was kneaded by deft hands, starting with our legs and working all the way up to an epic head massage. Also, we’ve waited our entire lives to have a delicate masseuse tell us “There’s some tension in your left shoulder,” just like they do in the movies, and she totally did. And then she massaged it out. We may have cried a little when it was over.
After visiting the Ladies Lounge, which comes equipped with oversized daybeds in front of glass windows overlooking the Nile, and healthy spa things like cucumber water and ginger tea, it was time to return to reality and leave the Four Seasons. Sigh. But their Mind and Body Wellness Tuesdays are definitely an experience we’d do all over again. Circuit training and aqua workouts make you feel all fit and stuff, and are perfectly balanced out with a delicious lunch and a 60-minute massage. You can find us at the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo's Spa every Wednesday from now on.
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