Diet and Nutrition: a spiritual, mental and physical approach
- Remove pain
- Provide pleasure
Exercise and Fitness
Again, a universal subject…. Applicable to all! … it’s the discipline of having a workout routine prescribed by a fitness coach….. or the pain of having one prescribed by a doctor, when you don’t have a choice… early generations used to be fit, even in their late fifties and sixties…. they used to walk a lot, ride animals, which takes effort and energy, they had tough lives, away from luxury, laziness and over indulgence…. They would equate Fatness to love of this world – – there was no word as ‘obesity’ in their vocabularies…. So what happened to us?…
Lifestyle diseases such as diabetes heart diseases are a results of our luxury and lazy lifestyle…. We are told that the highest level of diabetes is in the Middle east area…. Too much food, too many courses of meals… even more so, during weddings and other family gatherings, and unnecessary morning meals…. Lavish parties, buffets, shisha (bubbly) are all dragging us to an early grave….
We have a lack of exercise or NO exercise culture… especially in holidays, where we just want to be complete vegetables; don’t want to do any work, be it physical, or mental… we look at holidays as an excuse to go on a semi-alive mode!
Just look at how many food chain franchises we have, and then….. How many gym brands we have…. And we will know our condition…. One of the top new year resolution is , ‘I shall exercise regularly’… either to stay fit or to lose the needed pounds!… however, it is the mostly violated resolution!
“And eat and drink, but waste not in extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not those who waste in extravagance.” (7:31)
- Lack of exercise results in a sluggish life style … this in turn, impacts our worshipping God in a negative way…. Excessive eating and no exercising, results in heedlessness, and sluggishness
- Giving up exercise is even more detrimental…. The impact starts as soon as two weeks… Muscle strength and stamina, and often flexibility, declines pretty quickly
- Stress level starts to escalate….
- It hurts the productivity at work and home…. This decreases the economy and GDP of the country… so we might see the tip of the iceberg…. However, the problem snakes deep down
- Bones get weak and immune system slows down…. We can die younger
- We all want have healthy souls, minds and bodies… all of these are blessings from our Creator, and we MUST take best care of them, be it nutrition, sleep, or exercise….actually all three to be precise!
- People who exercise, can handle stress better….
- People just sleep better when they’re working out. And more alert during the day.
- ‘Any exercise boosts blood flow to the brain which helps with everything from alertness to problem solving.’
- There is a part of the muscle that retains the memory of training and exercise in your body, making retraining easier.
- Exercise increases muscle tone, improves flexibility, enhances endurance, strengthens the heart and fights depression. Exercise also helps achieve significant weight loss. Aerobic exercise fights heart disease and high blood pressure, and reduces the risk of diabetes, while weight training increases muscle strength and reduces fat, increases bone density, fights back pain and arthritis, and improves overall mental health.
ACT – Action Changes Things! ….. have a holistic approach towards health and fitness… we need to understand health as … spiritual health, emotional health and physical health… not JUST physical health….. best way of life lays emphasis on a simple diet combined with physical exercise.
We need to connect fitness and exercise to a higher cause….. We need to view nutrition, sleep and exercise as things which not only impact the body, and the mind, but also the soul….we MUST take care of the body, soul and mind (which are all gifts from God, a trust from God)…. Why.. So we can worship Him…. We can be attentive, we can be productive and we can excel in anything that we want …. For this temporary world or the eternal hereafter….
“A strong believer is better and dearer to God than a weak believer, though in both is good.”
- … in this statement, ‘strength’ can be viewed as in terms of both… faith and character… as well as physique and stamina
“O God, make the early morning hours blessed for my nation.”
This saying should inspire us to have the most optimism morning routine that we can design (I’m compiling this writing at 6 am :—)
- Fasting twice a week or at least 3 days a month MUST be a part of our fitness formula….we can work out as much as we like, however, if we eat 1) too much 2) eat unhealthy, … we are just fooling ourselves….
- “Any action without the remembrance of God is either a diversion or heedlessness excepting four acts: Walking from target to target [during archery practice], training a horse, playing with one’s family, and learning to swim.” If this pearl of wisdom is not the ultimate in physical fitness, then what is?
“People don’t appreciate Blessing of time and good health, till they lost it”– This brief, yet powerful message shows us that time and health are blessings from God, and that we should not only thank Him, but we should ask Him for more.
- Eat just enough to kill hunger… eat with your stomach, not your eyes…. Don’t have eating contests…. Don’t have food festivals…. We were made humans, not animals…. If we can’t control our food and carnal desires, strong chances are, we will NOT be able to control and add discipline in any other part of our life…..
- Early generations had no useless recreations to produce laziness and waste many hours of otherwise constructive time….. It has been conclusively proven that obesity in children increases, the more hours they watch television…
- walk in your local community, especially visiting neighbors and doing groceries, and going to offer prayers
- Play and race with your children, family, and friends, creating ‘quality’ time
Teach children horse riding, archery and swimming
- A highly respected scholar Ibnul-Qayyem stated that movement helped the body get rid of waste food in a very normal way and strengthened the body’s immune system. He also stated that each bodily organ has its own sport (or movement) that suited it and that horse riding, archery, wrestling and racing, were sports that benefitted the whole body
- Get Cupping (Hijama) done – it is one of the best forms of ‘preventive maintenance’ as well as way of getting rid of foul blood from the body – blood, which is the vehicle for transportation of Oxygen in our bodies.
- Just like prayer, which has certain movements or elements of exercise, … exercise should also be a group effort… get an exercise buddy… an accountability partner….
- Corporates need to highlight and promote healthy life styles… I know companies here, who have on premises separate gyms for men and women!
- There are companies which offer discounted membership to clubs – – by the way, more geographically scattered health clubs are needed – – so for you entrepreneurs out there, here is a golden opportunity….
- Importance of health and fitness needs to be part of the educational system….
- More personalities and celebrities need to be ‘health ambassadors’
- We need to STOP saying EAT MORE… and start saying, EXERCISE MORE
- Instead of saying let go to lunch, let’s try saying, let’s go for exercise
- Say (at least at times), ‘let’s meet at the gym’, and not, ‘coffee shop’
- Be a trend setter, not a follower…. Youth will take you as a role model… you will get reward from God!
- Governments needs to promote a campaign of healthy living which includes , diet and exercise, and sleep
- Exercise and fitness should also not involve unnecessary mixing of the sexes or wearing clothing that exposes the parts of the body that should be kept hidden
- Don’t over-do it – too much weight training will result in immense appetite (you will eat more than needed – sometimes 2 chickens day) and will impact you in your old age, with arthritis and other ailments.
- Eating better and eating less can still give you the same results – – try horse riding, archery, swimming especially with your children!
- Avoid steroids at any cost!
- Swimming is better / cycling is better!
- Eat less meat – you are what you eat ––
- Don’t use your hands for your own destruction – stop smoking, abusing soft drugs, taking narcotics, smoking sheesha (bubbly)… be jealous about your health – you get it only once and it’s a gift from God!….
- CTA – call to action…. Let’s start educating the masses… let’s get leaders of the society involved…. Let’s start with ourselves, our families, our colleagues at work, our neighbors, whom we meet daily when we go for prayers… start short walks in morning and in evening
- Sitting around is the worst thing we can do…. We all have heard, ‘You don’t move, you die!’
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Have you been thinking about this issue? How did you resolve it? What’s your diet and exercise pattern like? And how can you make your health and fitness not just for this temporary world, but for the eternal hereafter?