We, as women, create the future of the Ummah; we take on the important role of training, teaching and raising future leaders. Women are the pillars that hold the community firm. It is the persistent hard work of a mother that creates a strong and healthy family. So it is of utmost importance that Muslimahs invest their time into looking after their well-being. It becomes easier to prioritize our well-being, without any feelings of guilt, when we understand the role we play in this society and the importance it holds. We have to be strong and fit for ourselves and our family. Doing so sets a good example to those little ones who look up to us, which reminds us that we can make changes in this world by starting with ourselves.
- find some “me time” in your daily schedule
- make a list of physical activities/exercise you are interested in
- learn to take some time off and do activities which you enjoy
- clear your mind and focus on the exercise while working out, this is known as The Mind-muscle Connection
- keep a fitness journal and track your improvements (physical, emotional and spiritual)
Your gut health = overall health
There are approximately 100 million nerves found in the lining of the gut. Our gut is lined with millions of bacteria which are responsible for the body’s vitamin and mineral absorbency, hormone regulation, digestion, vitamin production, immune response, ability to eliminate toxins and your overall mental health.The body is composed of more bacteria than cells. These bacteria collectively are called Microbiome.
Good gut bacteria decides how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally. Poor gut health has been implicated in neurological and Neuro-psychiatric disorders. Disturbances in gut health have been linked to multiple sclerosis, autistic spectrum disorders, Parkinson’s disease and a whole range of auto-immune diseases.
Here, the food we eat comes under the spotlight: if healthy eating has not been a priority for you, good gut health is a great reason to replace those processed and nutritionally void foods for home-cooked, wholesome meals. Introducing clean eating habits, a daily exercise regime, and Pro-Biotics, you stand a good chance of increasing mental alertness and sharpening your focus. A healthy gut helps us achieve our goals or can hinder us through various illnesses. Muslimahs who are looking to improve health, and gain mental clarity can easily see immediate results by paying attention to their gut health.
- brush up on the basics of nutrition and exercise
- include simple and natural probiotics such as fresh curd, sour kraut, cheese from grass-fed cows
- include vegetables of all colors
- purchase fresh meats and fish only
- remove processed and packaged foods
- swap carbonated drinks and sugary juices with fresh smoothies
Taking care of your body is an act of gratitude to its Creator
This body is a gift from Allah and we must preserve it and pray for good health. Hold on to this thought, when asking for good health from Allah we also have to take the necessary steps to make sure we can achieve, retain and keep improving our health. Parallel to our Tawakkul (trust in Allah ), our efforts should match the intentions. A conscious effort is required to maintain a fit body that can assist us in reaching our goals. Exercise and clean eating have the power to transform not only the body but also towards helping to build a strong Muslimah who is confident and focused enough to tackle this dunya.
- find fitness role models to follow (social media is great for this)
- create your own exercise routine
- spend some time planning meals ahead of time
- make a healthy grocery list
- search for great easy to make recipes for the week
Your strong body leads to the strong mind you need
A healthy and strong Muslimah is better geared to improve the quality of her relationships and worship. A direct result of eating clean and exercise is the ability to focus more on tasks and complete them thoroughly. Are you wondering how to increase your mental focus, patience, and confidence? I wouldn’t hesitate to advise you to work out regularly. Exercise increases blood flow and removes toxins, it also improves the quality of muscle, bone, and organs. Do you have a slow metabolism? Working out fixes that too. When the body goes through exercise it will require and crave more food, and healthy foods at that. Keep to that new workout routine (be persistent) and see the positive changes. A strong Muslimah is strong physically, mentally and spiritually.
- share your physical fitness goals with your spouse and loved ones
- encourage your loved ones to join you on physical activities
- find at least 20 to 45 mins to workout, 4 to 6 days a week
- share your interest in being physically active with your spouse and loved ones
- stick to your workout routine, physical changes will show after 3 weeks
You can turn into a better and happier ‘You’
It’s more than just a health resolution. It’s a reminder that we have the power to make decisions and create positive changes in our life. Indeed, life 1400 years ago, is not comparable with the lifestyle of today. Their lifestyle required more physical activity and cleaner foods, which shaped our first leading women to be stronger and fitter then most of us are today. But that isn’t a point to dwell on, rather it must be taken as a motivation to make healthy changes.
Exercise boosts cognitive function, improves memory and concentration, increases creativity, and fights depression. Love it or hate it, the runners high is real. That boost of happy hormones is homemade and improves mental health, it has even been proven to influence the way you may handle relationships in a positive way. So include more intense exercise for the happy mind. Join in on more sports and exercise challenges. Change that ultra-processed diet to include more fresh whole foods. A healthy Muslimah has the stamina to spread knowledge, to be a role model, and become a helping hand in the community.
- remove toxic and hazardous foods from your house
- make a list of healthy changes you want to bring in your family
- share your ideas of healthy changes with your family
- sit with friends to share the new health-related knowledge you have gained
- raise awareness in your community about health and fitness
Finally, remember that life is short and spending it being unhealthy and weak can only lead to regret. You have the power to make healthy changes for you and your loved ones. You can spend time looking for things to blame, or you can take control of your health and have faith in the Creator to help you with this journey.
So, what changes can you make today towards a healthier and happier lifestyle? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.