Aliya Farooq, Kashmir’s first certified woman fitness trainer, has broken stereotypes with her choice of career.
Aliya started her career as a gym trainer in 2012 and has trained thousands of women.
Speaking to India Today, Aliya Farooq said that most women are shy and avoid going to gym because of male instructors.

Aliya lives in Khanyar, Srinagar. A mother of two children, Aliya faced a lot of health issues after pregnancy, such as obesity and depression.
“My husband suggested me to join a gym, but I was not sure whether a male trainer can understand the female body or not. I went to Delhi and was inspired by married women who were fit, and I decided to join the gym there. I lost almost 28 kgs in four months,” she said.Her husband had already established a gym, ‘Fitness Solution’, in the Khanyar area in old Srinagar city in 2010. However, he failed to run the gym smoothly. This is when Aliya stepped in and decided to become a fitness instructor.”

Women need a female gym trainer, so I decided to become a gym instructor. I went to Hyderabad for full-fledged training and took charge of my husband’s gym as an instructor in 2012. Since then, I have trained thousands of women from different parts of the Kashmir Valley. High blood pressure, cholesterol and infertility are common issues among females and hence they need to exercise regularly,” she said.
Aaliya faced a lot of challenges and criticism in starting up the gym centre, but she didn’t take them seriously.

“My husband and in-laws supported me to run this fitness centre. All this was possible only because of their continuous support,” she added.“In Kashmir, we must have a female fitness centre in every district. I appeal to the government that they should assist females in opening up fitness centres across the Kashmir Valley”, she said.

Tanzila, who just joined Aliya’s gym a few weeks back, said that she was upset due to her health and low immunity.
“Doctors advised me to join the gym. Still, I was not comfortable in joining a gym in Srinagar because they have male instructors, but then I heard about this gym which is for females. A female instructor is available here. I was so excited to join and now I am very comfortable here. I am thankful to Aliya, who is running this centre,” she said.

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