Keeping Your Body Fit: What Does Islam Say About Keeping Fit?

By Amina Fukeerbucus | 03, Aug, 2018
Keeping Your Body Fit: What Does Islam Say About Keeping Fit?

Living in a consumer's society today, everything is about eating more and more. With so many facilities at reach, our eating habits, as well as lifestyle, have greatly evolved, and it's not in a positive way. 

As individuals, we should take into consideration the proper way of eating as well as taking care of our physical bodies. Let's shed some light on how to keep our bodies fit and what's the Islamic perspective about being fit.

Food and Us

Keeping fit is a must these days, especially with the increase in the number of diseases and stress we go through on a daily basis. First and foremost, it's crucial to pay extra attention to the important things in our lives; one of them is how we eat. 

Being surrounded by countless fast-food chains, restaurants, street food stalls and eateries, it's difficult to resist the temptation of overeating. While all those food chains have so much to offer, it is up to us to eat with moderation and not indulge into exaggeration.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated in a Hadith that "The Son of Adam will not fill a pot worse for himself than his stomach. It is enough for the Son of Adam to eat a few bites that strengthen his spine. If he likes to have more, then let him fill a third with food, a third with drink and leave a third for his breathing."

This Hadith has been interpreted in several ways but the most plausible of all interpretations is that one must not overeat and must be content with whatever he has. In this perspective, Muslims must not engage in eating to such an extent that they can't work or feel lazy. As a Muslim, it is our duty to monitor our eating habits closely and make sure that we don't fall into extravagance or wastage.

Islam and Keeping Fit

In one of the Hadiths, Abu Hurairah mentioned that The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing be upon him) said that:" A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a weak one, and both are good." This particular Hadith outlines the importance of being healthy and strong physically, which shows that exercises and keeping fit are important for Muslims. In a world where everything is one click away, people are no longer willing to do any effort to stay in good health.

Everything in this world is temporary, including our bodies. As Muslims, we believe that our bodies are a blessing from Allah and that we have to make sure that we take full care and concern for this gift. When we leave this world, we pray that our bodies would 'return' to Allah in the beautiful way that Allah has created us.

Exercising doesn't have an impact only on our bodies, rather it helps us in staying in shape in so many ways. From helping us to become more concentrated to develop stress management skills, exercises help us to relax and an evacuate all the frustration that has been accumulated through workouts. To top it off, exercise helps us to maintain a healthy weight and be conscious of our eating habits.

Sports and Muslims

Picture Credit: Home Of Soccer, YouTube

The world is changing rapidly and there are so many sports in which Muslims can practice these days. One of the greatest sports motivation that we have nowadays is the number of Muslim men and women taking part in national and international sports events. Seeing these Muslims with their beard and hijab being part of the sports world is a loud wake-up call to the entire Ummah, making them realize that sports aren't designed only for one category of person. 

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Picture Credit: The Independent

Representatives of Saudi Arabia in the 2016 Rio Olympics

Picture Credit: Quartz

We will gladly reminisce over the glorious hours of Ibtihaj Muhammad who became the first woman to wear hijab in a fencing competition, or even the Saudi women who took part in the Olympics. With all the gym facilities and societies being more open about practising sports, Muslims have really got a plethora of sports to choose from.

Types of Exercises and Sports

Like I mentioned above, the world is more open to Muslims practicing sports, and today, we can find that Muslims are participating into different sports disciplines while their faith doesn't act as a barrier into their endeavors. Among the many sports practiced by Muslims today, one can find martial arts, fencing, athleticism, rugby, football and so many other sports. 

Muslims can work out as and try any sport as long as it is done in such a way that it does not harm the body. The Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) mentioned in a Hadith reported by Al-Bukhaari that our body has rights over us. It is, therefore, our responsibility not to engage in dangerous sports which could damage our body or cause us any kind of harm.

Benefits of Exercising

The benefits of exercises are countless. Exercising on a regular basis will help us to stay in good shape as well as improving our mental health. While exercising, the body releases endorphin which is a hormone that helps to cope with pain. 

Endorphins also act as a stress reliever and help in improving mental health. Several types of research and studies on exercises have shown that exercises help in improving concentration, boosting self-esteem as well as curing depression. All you need is a little bit of your time and some motivation. Tie those runners-up and go for it!

Tips

Before we get all hyped and start our exercising routine, there are certain things that we need to keep in mind.

i. Consistency is key

Take baby steps into exercising. Start slowly and with the bare minimum. Don't feel too pumped to lift 40kg at once or doing 100 burpees or squats in a single day. Start with small sets of exercises with 30 secs or 1 minutes rest between each set.

ii. Find what suits you best

You'll find a lot of workouts and sports on the net or even at the gym. Find something you like to do and in which you'd like to perfect. If you're lightweight, go for muscle gaining exercises along with something to build your stamina. 

If you're a middleweight, tone up your muscles and look for a sport where you can use your strength. And if you're heavyweight, try weights and sports where you can easily use your strength. You can always ask a gym coach in advising you for additional help.

iii. Meal preps

Exercising is only the first step. You have to make sure that you're taking enough carbs and proteins according to what's necessary for your body to gain strength. Divide your meals into smaller portions, and keep healthy snacks at hand. You never know when you might need them.

iv. Stay hydrated

We tend to sweat a lot when working out, thus losing a lot of fluid. Keep your water bottles filled and with you at all times. If you're feeling fancy, infuse some fruits in the water! It's important for your body to stay hydrated while exercising and also after a heavy workout.

5. YouTube Can Always Help

This is the cheapest way to exercise without having to pay any membership or burning gas money to go to the gym. YouTube videos can help you start slowly with certain exercises and check out different sets of exercise. Tune in and learn.

This body of ours is a gift from Allah, and it is our responsibility to take care of it as best as we can. Keeping fit isn't only a way to avoid getting all kinds of diseases but it's also a way to show that we love ourselves so much that we are willing to take care of ourselves. 

A little writer trying to make her way through this world. Writing is more than a passion. It's a way to connect people and to discover the world in a different way.