Ingredients of a Healthy Lifestyle

By Verda Batool 

Feeling low or having a receptivity that every bad thing is bound to happen to you? Feeling down in the dumps? Sometimes, it’s okay not to be okay. Nothing to worry about at all. Your pragmatic Deen e Islam has solutions to almost all predicaments of life.

One cannot negate the fact that a healthy lifestyle can help in organizing one’s life. It instils punctuality, discipline and steadiness. So let’s look into a few of its ingredients.

1) Eating Patterns
One of the most important ingredients of a healthy lifestyle is to eat healthy foods.
Allah SWT says:
O you who believe, eat from the pure things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is Him that you worship.

(Surah al-Baqarah, 2:172)

It is advised to eat wholesome food which is pure, unprocessed, and free of preservatives. Processed foods lose their nutritional value and contain a lot of sugar, salts and chemicals which are detrimental to human health. So we should add more fruits, vegetables and home-made food to our daily diet for achieving a nutritional balance. Taking too much junk food and carbonated drinks creates calcium deficiency in our bodies. This can be reciprocated with an increased intake of milk, yogurt and other dairy products. Always remember that prevention is better than cure. So we should minus out unhealthy foods alongside increasing the chunk of healthy foods in our diets.

It is advisable to have a simple and nutritious diet instead of that which only serves to satisfy your taste buds. Eat only when you feel hungry, and stretch your hand from food when you are about to get full.

Always remember this Sunnah golden rule of eating:

“Keep a third portion of your stomach empty for food, a third for drink, and the last third for breath.” (Tirmidhi: 2380)

This way of eating makes our metabolism efficient which in turn helps in improving digestion.

2) Nap and postprandial walk

There is a famous Arab proverb which translates as follows:

“After lunch rest a while, after dinner walk a mile.”

Developing a habit to have an afternoon nap (where you take some rest without going to a heavy sleep) serves to refresh you for the rest of your day. Going for a walk after dinner helps your stomach digest food properly. Morning walk and fresh air breathing also protects lungs from many ailments and keeps you active.

3) Night sleep

Another ingredient mandatory to add to your healthy lifestyle is “night sleep”. There is a lot of medical research which shows that night sleep is essential for a profound mental and physical health, and that the best quality of sleep is in the early hours of the night. According to some researches, sleeping in the first one-third of the night (approx. 9pm-12am) is as if you slept for a double amount of time. This means you get to have such a good sleep in the first 3 hours of the night which you would otherwise have had in 6 hours. A healthy amount like 7-9 hours of night sleep daily also creates hormonal balance. It makes our body secrete a hormone called serotonin, a deficiency of which results in anxiety and stress. A peaceful night sleep also helps in improving memory storage and decision-making skills.

Allah SWT says in the Qur’an:

“It is He who has appointed the night as a covering for you and sleep as a source of rest. The day He has appointed for rising.” (Surah Furq?n, 25: 47)

Today most of us have a habit of staying up late and sleeping a good part of the day. This is an anti-Sunnah approach. Prophet made dua for us saying: “O Allah, bless my Ummah in their early mornings (i.e., put barakah in what they do early in the morning).” (Sunan Ibn Majah: 2236) It also comes in some narrations that the companion Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), once found his son sleeping in the morning. He said to his son, “Wake up! How can you sleep at a time when provisions (from Allah) are being dispensed?”

When we stay awake till late, we are most likely to miss our Fajr prayer, and even if we are able to wake up for prayer, it is extremely hard to concentrate in the prayer or even know what we are saying to our Rabb. Thus, it is very important to turn our routine right, and it is not as difficult as it seems. If we keep ourselves from sleeping during our day (except for the afternoon nap), we’ll find ourselves going to sleep as soon as it gets dark outside.

4) Random good deeds

To add to the ingredients of a healthy lifestyle, make sure to do one good deed each day that could be a source of happiness for other people. This deed can range from something as small as passing a smile to a stranger while crossing the street or lending money to someone in need to help them financially.

Abu Dhar narrated from the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that He said,

“Do not disdain a good deed, (no matter how small it may seem) even if it is your meeting with your brother with a cheerful face”. (Sahih Muslim)

 

Such small deeds sometimes help in making one’s day. Adopt flexibility in behaviors and believe in giving “second chances” in relationships.

5) Me-Time

Make sure to find a few minutes for “yourself” at the end of each day. In that time, sit in isolation with no distractions and ponder over your actions of that day. Let your brain decide in isolation where you were wrong and where the wrong was done to you. Crop such things from life that are the cause of toxicity after proper rational thinking.