Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle Islamic Perspective
Epidemic of obesity We are a fat nation. Why? Modernity combined with long hours of sitting or reclining while watching TV, playing video games and keeping up with our social media networks are taking a toll on us. Snacking on cheap, addictive, high-calorie foods and soda. Lack of regular exercise are increasing our fat cells and boosting our waist and neck sizes.
Alarming statistics More than 300,000 people die every year because of complications related to obesity. Illinois has the 27th highest rate of adult obesity in the nation at 25.9 percent, and the 10th highest in overweight youth (ages 10-17) at 34.9 percent, according to a recent report by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Nearly two-thirds of our adults and one-third of our children younger than 10 in Illinois are overweight or obese
Health consequences of obesity Obesity increases the risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, sleep apnea, stroke, high cholesterol, certain cancers, osteoarthritis, respiratory problems, liver disease, gallbladder diseases and gynecological problems
Islam’s guidance regarding health A true believer recognizes the wonder of the human body and is grateful to the Creator. Islam’s holistic approach to health covers all aspects of the mind, body and soul. A truly health conscious person blends diet, nutrition and exercise with the remembrance of God and an intention to fulfill all their religious obligations.
Healthy body is a trust from Allah Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said a strong believer was better than a weak believer Our bodies, the most complex of machines, are given to us by God as a trust. They should not be abused or neglected but maintained in good order Islam lays emphasis on a simple diet combined with physical exercise.
Prophet (SAW) encouraged physical exercise Prophet Muhammad, may Allah praise him, said, “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”. At Tabarani
Prophet (SAW) encouraged archery “The Prophet passed by some people from the tribe of Aslam while they were competing in archery (in the market). He said to them, ‘Shoot children of Ishmael (Prophet) your father was a skilled marksman. Shoot and I am with so and so.’ One of the two teams therein stopped shooting. The Prophet asked, ‘why do not you shoot?’ They answered, ‘How could we shoot while you are with them (the other team). He then said, ‘Shoot and I am with you all.” Bukhari
Prophet (SAW) used to race Prophet Muhammad’s beloved wife Aisha mentions their love of games and sports. She said, “I raced with the Prophet and I beat him. Later when I had put on some weight, we raced again and he won. Then he said, ‘this cancels that (referring to the previous race) Bukhari
Prophet (SAW) was a strong wrestler The Prophet (peace be on him) once wrestled with a man called Rukanah who was well-known for his strength, throwing him down more than once. (Reported by Abu Daoud.)
Prophet (SAW) and Sahaba were physically fit Life was tougher, long distances were covered on foot, Men hunted and farmed their food to survive, There were no useless recreations to produce laziness and waste many hours of otherwise constructive time. The 21st century contains many distractions and forms of entertainment that encourage laziness and induce ill health.
Fulfilling Islamic obligations requires good health The daily performance of five prayers is in itself a form of exercise. Its prescribed movements involve all the muscles and joints of the body, and concentration in prayer relieves mental stress. Good health is necessary if one intends to fast the month of Ramadan. Performance of the Hajj (or pilgrimage to Mecca) is an arduous task that requires many days of hard physical effort.
Imam Ibnul-Qayyem stated in Zad al Maad Movements help the body get rid of excess food(Calories) in a very normal way and strengthens the body’s immune system. 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
Words of caution in exercise Should not come at the expense of religious obligations, It must not infringe upon the time spent with family members. In accordance with the holistic approach to life, which is Islam, every thing must be done in moderation. There is no allowance for extreme or fanatical behavior. Exercise and fitness should also not involve unnecessary mixing of the sexes or One must not wear clothing that exposes the parts of the body that should be kept hidden.
The American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines are published in the July,2009 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Here are the highlights: Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes, All adults should avoid inactivity Some physical activity is better than none
ACSM Guidelines Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits Additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration
Exercise and structural and functional changes accompanying human aging No amount of physical activity can stop biological aging Exercise limits the development and progression of chronic disease and disabling conditions Exercise can reduce the physiologic harms of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle It improves active life expectancy Significant psychological and cognitive benefits
Two types of exercise 1- AET: Vigorous, long-term participation in aerobic exercise training (AET) improves cardiovascular reserve and skeletal muscle adaptations 2-RET: Prolonged participation in resistance exercise training (RET) increases muscle and bone mass
Benefits of Exercise Less abdominal and total body fat, greater lean muscle mass and higher bone mineral density, higher oxygen-carrying capacity, and less cardio metabolic stress with reduced coronary risk profile. Lower waist circumference, better lipid profile, better endothelial function, and slower development of disability
Exercise & Weight Control Sedentary people in the United States typically gain 8 to 9 kg of body weight, mainly fat, between the ages of 18 and 55 years followed by 1 to 2 kg in the next decade. Moderate-intensity AET can reduce the fat gain in overweight adults independent of dietary changes . Prolonged aerobic exercise slows the age-related accumulation of central body fat and is cardio protective
Exercise’s beneficial effects on heart In previously sedentary individuals, 3 or more months of moderate-intensity AET in middle-aged and older adults produces a lower heart rate; smaller increases in systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressure; improvements in oxygen uptake capacity; and numerous cardio protective effects
Beneficial effects for glucose and lipids AET can also enhance glucose control at rest Promote clearing of atherogenic lipids, and Increase preference for fat as fuel
Benefits for the muscles RET with isometric, isokinetic repetitions in older adults is associated with an increase in muscle strength, muscle power, and muscle quality in older adults. Moderate- to high-intensity regimens are associated with marked improvements in muscle endurance. Muscle quality improvements may be greater in younger vs older women
Other important benefits Significant improvements in bone mineral density have been noted in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Multimodal exercise, including strength and balance exercises have been shown to reduce the risk for falls in those prone to falls. Both AET and RET have been shown to reduce clinical depression and anxiety and improve cognitive function
The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association Recommend Endurance exercise with moderate intensity of 30 to 60 minutes per day in at least 10-minute bouts to at least 150 to 300 minutes per week. Vigorous-intensity activities are recommended at 20 to 30 minutes per day for a total of 75 to 150 minutes per week. RET is recommended at least 2 days per week at moderate to vigorous intensity
Recommendations Balance exercises are recommended for those at risk for falls or for those with mobility problems Progressively difficult postures that gradually reduce the base of support, dynamic activities that perturb the center of gravity (eg, tandem walks, circle turns), stressing postural muscle groups, and reducing sensory input (eg, shutting the eyes while standing).
Recommendations for older individuals For older adults who are highly de-conditioned, have chronic diseases, or who are functionally limited, intensity and duration should be low and graded gradually. Older adults should perform physical activity as tolerated to avoid being sedentary.
Key points to the guidelines for older adults Start, and get help if you need it. The general recommendation is that older adults should meet or exceed 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week; however, it is also recognized that goals below this threshold may be necessary for older adults who have physical impairments or functional limitations. Functional healthis an important benefit of physical activity for older adults. Physical activity contributes to the ease of doing everyday activities, such as gardening, walking or cleaning the house
Strength training is extremely important. Strength training is important for all adults, but especially so for older adults, as it prevents loss of muscle mass and bone, and is beneficial for functional health. If you can exceed the minimum recommendations, do it! The minimum recommendations are just that: the minimum needed to maintain health and see fitness benefits. If you can exceed the minimum, you can improve your personal fitness, improve management of an existing disease or condition, and reduce your risk for health conditions and mortality. Flexibility is also important. Each day you perform aerobic or strength-training activities, take an extra 10 minutes to stretch the major muscle and tendon groups, with 10-30 seconds for each stretch. Repeat each stretch three to four times. Flexibility training will promote the ease of performing everyday activities.
Tips for meeting the guidelines Do it in short bouts. Research shows that moderate-intensity physical activity can be accumulated throughout the day in 10-minute bouts, which can be just as effective as exercising for 30 minutes straight. This can be useful when trying to fit physical activity into a busy schedule. Mix it up. Combinations of moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity can be used to meet the guidelines. For example, you can walk briskly for 30 minutes twice per week and jog at a higher intensity on two other days.
Set your schedule. Maybe it’s easier for you to walk during your lunch hour, or perhaps hitting the pavement right after dinner is best for you. The key is to set aside specific days and times for exercise, making it just as much a regular part of your schedule as everything else. The gym isn’t a necessity. It doesn’t take an expensive gym membership to get the daily recommended amount of physical activity. A pair of athletic shoes and a little motivation are all you need to live a more active, healthier life. Make it a family affair. Take your spouse, your children, or a friend with you during exercise to add some fun to your routine. This is also a good way to encourage your kids to be physically active and get them committed early to a lifetime of health.
THE KEYS TO EXERCISE SUCCESS Pre Exercise Health AssessmentThe pre-exercise health assessment will give you an idea of what factors increase your risk for exercise related illness or injury. You can share these results and the recommended exercise program with your personal physician
Exercise Time Finder Putting your schedule on paper allows you to see when you can fit in exercise, and makes you more likely to stick to a plan.Map your goals and plan Map out your goals and plan, and sign an agreement with yourself to begin or continue exercising.Keep it Simple Pick exercises are that are easiest and the most enjoyable for you. Create a Ritual Write down your plan to make exercise a daily routine in your life.Cost/Benefit Analysis Examine costs and benefits of regular exercise vs. inactivity
Barriers to Exercise My day is so busy now None of my family members or friends like to do anything active I'm just too tired after work to get any exercise. I'm getting older so exercise can be risky. I don't have access to jogging trails, swimming pools, bike paths, etc.
Barriers to Exercise Physical activity takes too much time away from other commitments-like work, family, etc I know of too many people who have hurt themselves by overdoing it with exercise. It's just too expensive. You have to take a class or join a club or buy the right equipment.