Issue 100 January 2013
God has entrusted our bodies to us, and we must do our best to ensure that they do not come to any harm. Therefore, we should maintain good health and wellbeing, through eating well and exercising.
Our bodies and lives have been described as an amanah from God, where we have been trusted to look after and care for them, as they do not belong to us. Therefore, we must treat our bodies with the utmost respect and ensure they do not come to any harm. We should maintain our good health, so that we are able to go out into the world and perform good deeds, as well as keep up with our religious obligations.
If you are suffering from injury or illness, then it can be difficult to think of anything else other than the pain that you may be suffering. This isn’t just restricted to physical health, but mental wellbeing is just as important.
To ensure that we maintain good health, we need to lead a healthy lifestyle. One element of a health lifestyle is to have a balanced and nutritious diet that consists of all the food groups. Unfortunately, many Muslim communities place a big emphasis on eating meat and so many of us tend to neglect our essential fruits and vegetables. Eating too many fatty foods can also lead to an increase in the level of cholesterol in your blood, which can result in heart disease. Furthermore, we must also be wary of eating disorders. These can range from over-eating, which leads to obesity, to anorexia and bulimia, which are the result of body image issues. Like many other things in life, we must ensure that we maintain balance in eating; in the amount that we eat and what we eat.
Another way to keep healthy is to get involved in sport and fitness. The Prophet Muhammad is said to have favoured swimming, archery and horse-riding as sports, and numerous studies have shown how keeping fit can have a positive impact on other spheres of life, such as boosting concentration, stress relief and reducing body fat. We should encourage children to become active, so that they stay in the habit of keeping fit and healthy.
Unfortunately, people from the South Asian communities are at a higher risk of having certain health conditions than people from other communities. For example, South Asians are six times more likely to develop diabetes or heart disease than the general population. Acute glaucoma and chronic kidney disease are two other health conditions that are also more prevalent amongst the South Asian community. Experts aren’t exactly sure why this is, but it is thought to be linked to diet and lifestyle, and the best form of prevention is to eat healthy and keep fit.