If you feel the need to burn some calories and exercise a bit while visiting Iran, you will have several options. Heading to the park will be your first one: Iranian parks are equipped with lots of gear for activities and, especially in the evening or early morning, you’ll see many young and old people exercising. The good side is that they are free and you can go any time you want, but if you are a woman, this option might be uncomfortable as you’ll still have to cover up and wear the hijab while working out. If you prefer to be more comfortable and escape the heat of the summer months, your second option will be the gym to exercise. In Iran there are gyms exclusively for women and you will be able to wear sports clothes and take off your scarf while inside. The equipment and quality standards are the same as Western gyms and the prices are much lower.
Your final option is going to the swimming pool. There are several public pools in major cities as well as private ones in luxury hotels. Be sure to check the time as there are specific times for men and women. If you are a woman, don’t worry, you don’t have to wear a burkini in order to go to the pool: a normal swimsuits will do the job since you will only be with women in your allocated time. I personally found this a bit unusual but also kind of reassuring.
I was very surprised to see how modern and clean swimming pools are in Iran; they are even better than some pools you find in Europe. They are very well maintained, decorated and colorfully designed following Persian motifs, and are extremely cheap compared to European standards. At the entrance, you will be asked to leave your shoes in exchange for flip flops that the pool provides you, then you will be given an electronic bracelet with a number in order to open a locker where you can leave your valuables. You can keep the waterproof bracelet with you while you swim and give it back to the reception once you leave. In some pools you will also be able to find Jacuzzis and saunas to relax and rest after your swim. Swimming pools are a good option to escape the heat and exercise: they allow you to undress for a few hours and will make you forgot about being in Iran and about all the Islamic rules you must follow while here.
Isfahan Province, Isfahan, Majlesi St, Jameh Mosque of Isfahan
Pasargad, Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Shahdad Kalouts, Shahdad, Kerman Province, Iran
Isfahan Province, Iran