Walking is an easy exercise that helps boost the body’s energy levels and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Walking is also a great exercise for fat loss. Most people think that they will lose weight by burning calories quickly through exercises like running or jogging. However, permanent weight loss takes place over time and exercises need to be easy to maintain. Thus, walking is one of the best exercises to increase and maintain permanent weight loss.
Despite the many health benefits, let’s face it; Cairenes don’t walk enough. In our defence, Cairo isn’t exactly a walking-friendly city. There are few sidewalks and most of us get almost run over just doing everyday errands. Thankfully, Muhammad Farag created the Cairo Walking Group for extra-long walks on quiet and car-free Friday mornings. Away from the noise and exhaust of the regular Cairo traffic, participants enjoy long walks where they soak up the sun, exercise and discover the city.
The Cairo Walking Group started in 2008, when Farag decided that he wanted to take a leisurely walk from Downtown to the Citadel. So, he posted his tentative plan on email listing group Cairo Scholars, and asked if anyone would like to join him. The response was tremendous; and the following Friday, a group of twenty five people journeyed to the Citadel, uncovered some interesting spots along the way and had some great conversations. Just like that, the Cairo Walking Group was formed.
Farag comes from a family of walkers. His dad would often take his whole family out for strolls around the city. Farag carries on the tradition and believes that walking can open up a new side of Cairo to a Cairene or veteran expat. Additionally, many of the best eateries, cafés and shops are usually off the beaten track. Not only is walking great for a Cairene's health; but why not take it as an opportunity to explore our maze of a city?
Previous walks have taken participants through Giza Zoo, Khan El Khalili and Heliopolis. The group tends to attract like-minded people that are usually quite intellectual; so it’s a great way to socialise and meet new people. Farag is quite a budding conversationalist himself. Just say one word about politics, literature and history; and prepare to have a discussion with a very creative mind.
On average, the group draws fifteen participants each month. Farag’s favourite walk is the route from Tahrir to the Citadel, which the group has taken five times in the last two years. In the future, Farag is looking to branch out with walks to the Pyramids, Abdeen, Attaba and Korba. He even revealed that he’s hoping one day to lead a week-long walk to Alexandria .
The Cairo Walking Group meets about once a month, usually in Tahrir on Friday mornings around 9AM during the winter and 8AM during the summer. On average, the walks take two-and-a-half hours. Cairenes, expats and visitors are all welcome to join. Farag has made a science out of walking in Cairo , and he even posts maps of the exact route taken later on Facebook. The Walking Group is absolutely free of charge and a great way to explore our city.
For more information and regular updates, join the Cairo Walking Group on Facebook.