As women, we go through many stages of life. Living a healthy life isn't often a priority for most usually because it is looked at from a restrictive lens. You've probably had an experience where you were eating a salad and someone asked if you were on a diet. Living a healthy lifestyle goes beyond going on a diet to lose weight.
Living a healthy lifestyle helps you feel energized and live your most optimal life. Regardless of what age or life stage you are at, it is never too late to start.
A healthy lifestyle is more than about just how you look. In fact, as a Muslim, it is our responsibility to take care of our health and body.
Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "There are two blessings in which many people incur loss. (They are) health and free time (for doing good)". [Al-Bukhari]
Figuring out where to start can feel overwhelming and it is often the reason why many women delay making positive changes to their lifestyle. Rather than focusing on everything you have to give up, shift your focus to what you can add to your life.
Here are 5 simple things you can do to start living a healthier life now:
1. Get your sweet fix with nature's candy. Replace sugary packaged treats with fruit such as berries, apples, watermelon etc.
2. Stay hydrated. Swap all sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, juices, iced coffees etc.) with water. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere so you remember to keep sipping.
3. Limit restaurant/fast food restaurant meals. Even a simple chicken dinner offers a lot higher in calories, fat, and sodium versus if you were to make it at home.
4. Get in at least 30 minutes of movement a day. It doesn't have to be at the gym. Get in activity in a way that is convenient and enjoyable for you.
5. Identify and manage major stressors in your life. It can be difficult to make changes if you are constantly stressed out. If you are having a difficult time achieving your goals, reflect on your emotional health and how this is affecting your day to day life.
Nazima Qureshi is a Registered Dietitian, writer, speaker, and founder of Nutrition by Nazima (www.nutritionbynazima.com), which aims to help Muslim women live healthier and happier lives. She provides evidence-based nutrition information through individual e-counselling, workshops, partnership opportunities, written communication, and recipe development. Nazima is a wife and mom to two beautiful girls under 3 who love food just as much as she does!