Fitness, plus body and soul equals wellness

Daily News Egypt
6 Min Read

Safe, known as the fitness convention of the Middle East, was launched at a press conference in Cairo on Thursday evening, promising to be bigger and better than ever.

Under the patronage of Minister of Tourism Zoheir Garana, the convention, now in its second edition, has been given the name “Global Wellness. Body and Soul. It is due to run for nine days from Friday Oct. 26 until Nov. 3.

Not only will Safe be addressing industry professionals hoping to renew their certifications, it will also be hosting workshops on everything from nutrition counselling for personal trainers to gadgets, gizmos and toys plus master classes on yoga and cardio, to name a few.

Karim Strougo, fitness pioneer and convention president, thanked the Minister of Tourism for offering his patronage that has enabled international standards to be upheld at the event.

Founder of the Strougo Academy for Fitness Education (Safe), he stressed how much had changed in the field since the inaugural edition of the convention two years ago. This year, the scope would be wider, catering to the needs of all those with an interest in any aspect of fitness.

Three lectures by prominent academics followed the opening speech.

Doctor Abdel Aziz El-Nemr was first to speak to the assembled industry professionals. Currently a professor of exercise prescription at Helwan University, with a PhD in philosophy of physical education, he is well qualified to talk on the subject of sports science.

Complementing the education of instructors, the correct equipment is needed, he said. However, while the former might have developed over the past 30 years, the advancement of machines has lagged behind somewhat.

During the course of Dr El-Nemr’s research, he found that 95 percent of government-owned gyms were sub-standard. A shocking statistic by anyone’s reckoning.

He detailed the three types of machines that exist: fitness, rehabilitation or physical re-education and those used for measurement or testing.

Taking the example of the treadmill, he spoke of the various types that are available. Some are suitable for seniors, complete with remote control negating the need to stretch to adjust the speed, others for the specially designed for overweight people.

Another has a separate roller under each foot. This is designed especially for people who have had a hip replaced as the insertion of an insole and the use of this treadmill can prevent the need to get the other hip replaced. (A vital tool given the fact that patients who have had a hip replacement surgery usually need to get the other one replaced within two years.)

“Invest in your bones was the title of the second lecture of the night, given by surgeon Dr Samir Fanous, a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in England. Probably deducible from the name, the speech covered osteoporosis – those most susceptible and how to treat someone who suffers from the disease.

Osteoporosis is characterised by low bone mass, leading to bone fragility and susceptibility to fractures, according to the World Health Organization.

The result of an imbalance between bone formation and bone loss, this “silent condition can go undiagnosed for many years.

Most often associated with post-menopausal women and those who go through early menopause (before the age of 45), a person may suffer due to family history of the disease or due to of prolonged – 3 months or more – cortisone therapy.

A healthy, balanced diet, not smoking and reducing your caffeine intake can contribute to avoiding osteoporosis. Being active – particularly taking part in weight-bearing activities that build up bone mass and performing exercises that improve balance, which diminishes with age – can help too. “Treatment is prevention, Dr Fanous concluded.

Medical nutritionist Dr Cherifa Aboul Fettouh was last to take to the floor in a short introduction to what constitutes healthy eating. In a slight departure from your standard nutrition speech, the focus was on “energy.

Carbohydrates, protein and fat give the body energy. Fat has the most calories per gram but is still vital in small doses. She advised eating eight times a day, every two hours, so that the body does not go into shutdown, starving mode. Milk, although high in calcium, was not advised in large quantities. Instead she espoused the many benefits of yoghurt, with its good and bad bacteria, as a means of getting the recommended daily intake 60g of protein.

Nestle, who are sponsoring the event, were on hand to give a short talk on “How to be at your best. The company are supporting ten of the best students from the faculty of physical education to attend workshops and classes to learn from the best in the business.

Even if you are not a fitness professional, classes and workshops with names like “Latin Wiggle & Giggle and “Bounce to Fitness could just tempt you down to the convention out of pure curiosity.

For a full schedule, visit

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