May 5, 2023

As Muslim women, we face unique challenges when it comes to prioritizing our health and wellness. Between our busy schedules, family obligations, and the cultural expectation to prioritize others before ourselves, it can be challenging to find time and energy to exercise. However, it's essential to remember that regular exercise is crucial for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

The Benefits of Exercise for Muslim Women's Health

Regular exercise has numerous benefits for Muslim women's health. It can help us maintain a healthy weight, improve our cardiovascular health, reduce our risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and boost our immune system. Exercise is also an effective stress reliever, helping us manage anxiety and depression, and promoting better sleep quality. Furthermore, physical activity can be a source of empowerment, helping us build confidence and self-esteem.

Exercise and Hijab

Many Muslim women cite the hijab as a barrier to exercise. They feel uncomfortable or self-conscious working out in Hijab, or they worry about their headscarf coming undone during physical activity or maybe they think there is no way to find hijab friendly sports clothes that will fully cover the body. However, there are several ways to make exercise more accessible and comfortable for Muslim women wearing hijab.

Hijab-Friendly Workout Clothes:

Choose workout clothes that are hijab-friendly. Look for tops and pants that are loose-fitting and made from breathable fabrics such as cotton or bamboo. These fabrics will help you stay cool and comfortable during exercise. Alternatively, consider investing in hijab-friendly athletic wear, such as hijab sports tops or leggings with built-in hijab. There are many online stores that specialize in hijab-friendly workout clothes, such as Veil Garments, Modanisa, and Simply Zeena.

I have some of my favourite loose, long and modest sports wear from these shops, but I also find great finds in regular shops like this tunic from Lole life and this top for Athleta. I also get my joggers from Athleta as they have many options that are loose fitting yet comfortable, which allows me to hike, run and workout without needing to sacrfice my faith and modesty.

Sports Hijab:

Consider wearing a sports hijab or headband to keep your hijab in place during exercise. These hijabs are designed to stay securely in place, even during high-impact activities such as running or jumping. Some popular sports hijab brands include Capsters, Haute hijab, and Dignitti.


Remember that modesty is an essential part of Islamic dress, even during exercise, and there is no need to sacrifice your modesty to get a good workout. Choose workout clothes that cover your awrah (parts of the body that must be covered in Islamic dress) and avoid tight or revealing clothing that may compromise your modesty.

Making Time for Exercise:

Another common barrier to exercise for Muslim women is a lack of time. Between work, family, and household duties, it can be challenging to find time to work out. However, it's crucial to remember that exercise doesn't have to be time-consuming or complicated. Even small amounts of physical activity can have significant health benefits. Finding short youtube videos that are 15 min each or talking a 20 min walk will all count, just start by taking the first small step.

Find Activities You Enjoy:

Try to find activities that you enjoy and can incorporate into your daily routine. For example, take a brisk walk after dinner with your family, do a short workout video during your lunch break, or dance to your favorite music while doing household chores. maybe you love to hike, play tennis or ride a bike, there is no perfect way to exercise, the best way is one you actually enjoy. You can also consider joining a women's-only gym or fitness class, which can provide a safe and supportive environment for Muslim women to exercise.

If you cannot find a women-only gym where you live, joining women-dominant fitness classes like Pilates, yoga, or Zumba can be an excellent alternative. These classes are often designed with women's bodies in mind and provide a supportive and inclusive environment for Muslim women to exercise. Many of these classes also have female instructors too, for the past 2 years I have been going to Club pilates and I have only seen like two men come once during that period, so don't get discouraged by not finding women's only Gyms, go out and look at the studios around you for something that might fit your needs.

In conclusion, regular exercise is essential for Muslim women's health and well-being. By choosing hijab-friendly workout clothes and finding activities that you enjoy and can fit into your daily routine, you can overcome the barriers to exercise and prioritize your health and wellness.

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About the author 

Aayah Khalaf

A health coach and detox specialist, CEO and founder of Bee Nourished a health and weight-loss initiative. I help women and mothers achieve their health and weight-loss goals with life changing programs that are uniquely yours.

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