Human health is among the biggest blessings of Allah. Nothing else seems of value once someone loses health, as they are unable to perform even the easiest of chores. For example, even a common cold can stop a person from breathing, eating and sleeping normally. Islam has always laid enormous emphasis on human health and hence has provided numerous guidelines in tibenabvi for Muslims to keep healthy. As such, exercise in Islam has a key role in maintaining the prime physical, mental and spiritual health of believers. Hazrat Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good” (Muslim, 2664). This hadith once again shows that exercise in Islam is highly recommended to ensure wellbeing.
The Benefits of Exercise in Islam
Physical activity is necessary to keep the human body in prime health. Exercise in Islam ensures that a Muslim is able to perform his worldly and spiritual duties properly and without issues. Taking care of one’s health has been highly encouraged by the Holy Prophet (SAW) as well.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-As (RA) narrated that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “O `Abdullah! Have I not been informed that you fast all day and stand in prayer all night?” I said, “Yes, O Allah’s Messenger!” He said, “Do not do that. Observe the fast sometimes and break the fast [at other times]; stand up for the prayer [at night] and also sleep. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5199).
The following are the benefits you can reap by sticking with the principles of exercise in Islam.
1. Better Cardiovascular Health
The heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. Any complications can cause serious issues with the entire body. However, the simple principle of exercise in Islam eliminates these chances. Just 150 minutes of cardio every week is enough to keep the body function and reduce the chances of coronary disease by 35%. This goes to show how important exercise is for us. Moreover, getting blood pumping eliminates the chances of plaque and cholesterol blockages. It invigorates the heart and keeps the cardiac muscles in good condition.
2. Reduction in Stress Levels
Exercise promotes the release of many beneficial hormones within the human body, such as endorphins. These are produced by the pituitary gland and central nervous system and their effects are felt on the entire human body. The normal secretion of endorphins reduces stress, especially with the release of norepinephrine.
3. Ensures Stronger Skeletal Structure
Physical activity ensures that the skeletal structure does not suffer from diseases such as osteoporosis. The bones become stronger when under stress or from micro-fractures sustained from combat sports such as kickboxing, karate and boxing. They heal to increase overall strength of the bones, ultimately resulting in stronger, denser bones.
4. Keeps Mental Health in Check
Exercise in Islam is also aimed towards maintaining prime mental health. Physical activity has been directly linked to better mind set and psychological stability. The mind becomes active during these stages and receives ample blood flow. Lack of exercise slowly but surely pushes the mind into a state of lethargy. This, in turn, causes mental degradation. Exercise in Islam prevents this and hence keeps the person in prime mental health even in old age.
5. Higher Energy Levels
Exercising regularly keeps the metabolism in check. The body benefits from higher energy levels at all times owing to the refined metabolic cycle which promotes better digestion, nutrient absorption, metabolism at a cellular level and a timely biological clock. All of these contribute towards better overall health for the human body.