This works very well in NY's orthodox Jewish community. Separate gyms, 'women only' public pool hours.For some Muslim women, though, gender- segregated exercise is the preferred and discrete option. When you've grown up in a culture where men and women relate prudishly, not even a Coolmax barrier of high-tech lycra is going to put you at ease panting alongside men in a co-ed exercise class. Women's-only gyms, or gyms with women's-only hours or rooms, dot the whole of the Islamic world. Even in the United States, the idea that women are more relaxed exercising without men's eyes on them has led to a preponderance of secular, women-only chains like Curves and Linda Evans Fitness. This non-religious attitude toward gender-segregated exercise neatly sets immigration politics aside, and has created a way for Americans from Muslims countries to retain their piety without seeming to embrace separation. I have fond memories of following my mother around her local Linda Evans center in California, watching Pakistani matrons and white soccer moms chat and stride energetically on long rows of treadmills.