It seems that hardly any of us are as fit as we should be, these days. Islam encourages a healthy approach to all aspects of life spiritual, mental and physical so it’s entirely permissible for women to exercise; the problem is that many Muslim women feel uncomfortable exercising in public. Western sportswear is often quite revealing, and some sporting activities can feel like a threat to modesty.
Not so long ago, I went to a gym and saw a woman trying to work out in a full Sawar Kamez. While I could sympathize, and knew exactly why she was doing it–she wanted to get fit, without compromising her religion–I could also see how dangerous what she was doing was. What if some of the loose fabric caught in the mechanisms of the machines she was using? She could have had a terrible accident. It got me to thinking about how Muslim ladies could stay healthy without worrying about either exposing themselves, or injuring themselves.
Four Ways of Keep Fit without Compromising Modesty
1. Ask at your local gym if they have any ladies only sessions. Most will. There’s a big market for all female exercise classes, whether swimming, aerobics, spin classes, or simply using the gym equipment. If your local gym doesn’t offer anything, why not get a group of friends together and suggest that they do? Most businesses are keen to attract new customers, so you could be helping them out too.
2. Try exercising outdoors. You don’t necessarily need to go to a gym to get fit; a good walk or a jog can be a brilliant way to get your heart beating and your muscles working. If you have kids, pushing a pram up a hill is almost as good a gym session!
3. Find some modest sportswear. I had great difficulty doing this, so I made my own! OK, so not everyone can just go out and produce their own line of active clothing; it was something that I’m passionate about, so I spent a lot of time working on the design and it’s finally now gone into production. Anah Maria Active currently offers tracksuits, hijabs and a sports coat, but we’ll soon be launching outdoor kit and swimwear. The trick is to deliver loose-fitting garments that are still comfortable to wear and don’t get in the way of your activities.
4. Try exercising at home. If you’re really uncomfortable exercising in front of others, you could try investing in some home exercise equipment. It’s nowhere near as expensive to buy an exercise bike as it used to be, and you can pick up a balance ball for as little as £10. Anything you can do is better than nothing, so why not just give it a try?
Imam Ali once said, “Better than abundance of wealth is the health of the body.” I agree with that completely. Sure, you can do a lot of things if you’ve got the cash to splash; but you can’t buy good health: that’s something that you have to do for yourself, and trust that Allah will help you.
Checkout the new modest active range from Anah Maria at Anahmaria.com.