Going to a mixed gym is definitely an option that many sisters won’t consider for reasons that are obvious to us. Before you give up entirely on getting fit, here are various options on how you can get fit.
Abu Sa`id (may Allāh be pleased with her) once narrated, “The Prophet was more shy (from Haya’: pious shyness from committing religious indiscretions) than a veiled virgin girl. [Sahih al-Bukhari]
For many Muslimahs, the option of going to a mixed gym creates levels of discomfort.
This was voiced out to us recently when a sister approached us with an issue she had. She want’s to get fit and stay fit, but just doesn’t know what options are available to her. She’s not the only one with this issue, for we know that many other Muslim sisters feel the same way.
Up until a few months ago, we were living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. There, I was lucky enough to have access to a gym that allowed sisters to work out privately during daytime business hours.
Since then however, we’ve settled in Edmonton, Canada. I now have to face the same issue about where to work out.
Gyms with Private Sections for Ladies
I looked into the gyms in my area of Edmonton, and to my fortune and surprise, found that Gold’s Gym has a separate, closed off section, just for ladies. Unfortunately, for many sisters around the world, this luxury is not available.
In this case all we need to do is create enough of a demand for the need and right to work out privately.
This can easily be done by putting together a “ladies only” workout club and approach venues such as a local university or college, or even the local “mixed” gym and put in a request for using their facilities privately.
Another option would be to find a female aerobics instructor and rent some time in a college or university gymnasium or even a dance hall.
Often times our local hospitals also offer fitness classes blocking out “female only” slots.
Let’s remember that some of us also have access to a local YWCA!
And oh! How could we forget? Our local masjids are also sometimes equipped with a gymnasium that we could use.
Try Outdoor Sports
Another option would be to partake in outdoor sports that can be practiced alone or accompanied. Ice-skating, walking, biking, swimming, in-line skating and basketball are just a few examples. These types of activities tend to draw less attention than working out in a gym.
We all know sisters in our circle that is looking to lose some weight or get fit right? I know I do.
Let’s talk about it. Let’s get organised. Let’s pick a favoured activity, a time and a place and let’s commit to getting in shape together.
You could schedule a basketball game 3 times per week at a nearby park, or whatever your favourite sport is.
Don’t fancy playing sport? Here’s a fun fitness idea. You could get together to walk at your local mall in the early morning hours before it gets busy with shoppers.
The mall is usually accessible to all by car or public transport, it’s weather proof, it’s cool, the floor is smooth and easy to walk on and you can window shop at the same time! Mommies, don’t forget your strollers!
Get Fit in the Privacy of Your Own Home
Otherwise, a good home workout can be just as effective as going to the gym.
After all, did you know that the best weight to workout with is your own body weight? Yup! So all you need is your body weight and a fitness routine that includes exercises for all your muscle groups.
Here’s where you can find 50 different types of exercises you can do at home. It has explanations as well as illustrations.
Quick Workout Tips
Here are some Muslim Fitness guidelines you should keep in mind for your home workout.
- Workout a minimum of three times per week.
- Pick three days and stick to them.
- Working out for fewer days may help maintain a passing grade in terms of fitness levels but no more than that.
- If you want to improve your fitness level, make physical changes to your body by toning or adding muscle, lose some fat and improve cardiovascular health, then three to five workouts per week are necessary.
- Workouts should not exceed 45 minutes in duration. Longer workouts will leave you feeling drained and energy less. Even if you feel you still have energy to go on – STOP. A 30-45 minute workout will energise you for the rest of the day and promote a wonderful and restful night of sleep.
- Alternate a lower body exercise with an upper body exercise and repeat 3 times. This will allow for a total body workout and max out conditioning, fat burning and energy production.
- Make 2 groups. Pick 2 lower and 2 upper and alternate 1 group at a time (1 upper, 1 lower) 3 times and then go for second group of upper and lower. If your fitness level permits, make 3 groups. An example in the next section.
- Have intense workouts.
- Make your movement quick, 1 count each movement/execution, and no rest in between repetitions. Rest 1 minute between groups. This will ensure a good cardio workout and generate tremendous energy supply for your day.
- Finish your entire routine, no matter what. Get to that finish line! It’s easy to work out when we are fresh, but the true test and the best results come when we are tired and feel like quitting. It’s then time to dig deep and reach for that reserve of energy we need to complete the course.
- Pick different muscle groups every time you workout. Make sure you get a total body workout every week by making pairs with different muscle group every time you work out. This will result in an overall fit body.
Quick At-Home Workout Routine
Below is an example routine for three muscle groups made up of exercises from these bodyweight exercises:
Instructions: Alternate each exercise for a total of 3 or 4 times, 1 group at a time, quick paced (1 second per execution).
Group 1: Alternate 3 – 4 times consecutively with little/no rest in between:
- 15 push-ups (upper body)
- 15 tuck jumps (lower body/core)
- Rest for 60 seconds before beginning the next group. You should still be slightly out of breath.
Group 2: Alternate 3-4 times consecutively with little/no rest in between:
- 15 bicep curls (upper body) weighted or not, with household items, for example, books.
- 30 mountain climbers (lower body/core)
- Rest for 60 seconds before beginning the next group, you should still be slightly out of breath.
Group 3: Alternate 3-4 times consecutively with little/no rest in between:
- 15 reverse flies (upper body) weighted or not, with household items, for example, canned goods.
- 15 (per leg/core) single leg dead lifts
Draw up a program like this one for a total of three or four days. Depending on your present level of fitness, you may want to give yourself a 30 second rest between alternations or up the ante by increasing the numbers of reps.