In our fast-paced world, maintaining an active and balanced lifestyle can be a real challenge. But going on this journey brings numerous benefits, nurturing not only our physical health, but also our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. In this blog, we explore the importance of looking after all aspects of our health in Islam and discuss practical tips on how to overcome the barriers we face in working towards having an active and balanced lifestyle.
In our busy lives, we often face obstacles on our journey to achieve an active and balanced lifestyle. As Muslimah, in particular, we often juggle multiple commitments to our family, education, work and community that make it hard to find time to focus on our many aspects of health and wellbeing.
But while it can be difficult, it’s also important to remember the many benefits that come with prioritising our health and wellbeing. As it not only enhances our physical strength, but also strengthens our mental and emotional health. By taking care of ourselves, we become better able to fulfil our responsibilities as individuals and active members of our communities.
In turn, health and fitness also have great importance in Islam. As Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “Your body has a right over you.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Our bodies are viewed as a trust from Allah (SWT) and it is our responsibility to take care of them. Looking after our health also makes it easier for us to fulfil our duties as Muslims, as we strengthen our mind and body, thus bringing us closer to Allah (SWT).
As a result, we should try and strive for a balanced approach to life that encompasses looks after the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of ourselves. So what are some simple ways we can prioritise our health in our day-to-day lives?
Begin with Intention
Start each day by setting an intention to prioritise your health and well-being. Create a daily routine that includes time for physical activity, mindfulness and self-care. Allocate specific time slots for exercise, prayer, Quran recitation and relaxation.
Remember that taking care of yourself is a form of worship as we are looking after a blessing that Allah (SWT) has given us. As, by treating our body and mind as sacred trusts, we not only fulfil our religious obligations but also strengthen ourselves, physically and mentally.
Incorporate Physical Activity
Make time in your day to include some form of regular physical activity. This can be a fitness class doing activities like swimming, yoga or pilates or working out at home. Walking or jogging are also good ways to include more exercise in your routine. Start small for a couple of minutes every few days then work your way up to having at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
Nourish and Hydrate Your Body
When we’re surrounded by readily available food all the time, it can be hard to cut out the foods that taste great but may not be good for our bodies. While we can’t force these foods out of our diet completely, we can aim to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and food with healthy fats in our diets, eventually working our way to reduce the amount of less nutritious foods we eat.
It’s also important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid consuming drinks that make you more thirsty, like sugary or carbonated drinks. For more variety, you can drink herbal teas, add a slice of fruit to your water or eat hydrating foods like watermelon or soups.
Dedicate time in your schedule to activities that bring you joy, relaxation and spiritual fulfilment. This can be hobbies like reading, journaling or being creative. Maybe you prefer to spend quality time with loved ones or find practising deep breathing exercises and making dhikr helps with your mental health.
Getting enough quality sleep each night is also vital to our mental and emotional health. Establish a consistent bedtime routine and create a sleep-friendly environment to promote restful sleep.
Seek Knowledge and Positive Spaces
Continuously educate yourself about health and wellness, from both a medical and Islamic perspective. Explore books, blogs, podcasts and videos that provide guidance on how to maintain an active and balanced lifestyle. Surround yourself with a supportive environment with people who encourage and support your journey towards improving your health and wellbeing.
All in all, prioritising staying active and maintaining a balanced lifestyle is a lifelong journey for many of us. But by taking small steps each day, we can achieve this goal, and enhance our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, empowering us to fulfil our responsibilities as Muslims and support our communities.