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05/25/2018 16:36 EDT | Updated 05/28/2018 17:54 EDT

Saman Munir Wants Other Muslims To Take Fitness As Seriously As She Does

Her love of the gym is about more than just toning up and relieving stress.

Instagram/sfm_fitness
Saman Munir, who has a big following online for both her hijab beauty tutorials and her workout videos, is a brand ambassador for both UFC Gym Mississauga and Under Armour.

Congregation is HuffPost Canada's podcast about faith, ritual and belonging from the perspective of a younger generation. In this episode, host Emma Prestwich talks to athlete Saman Munir on how her Muslim faith and fitness intersect. You can listen to the episode below or get it on iTunes, Stitcher or Google Play. Leave us a rating and a review!

When Saman Munir started posting workout videos to Instagram last year, she expected some criticism from Muslim men.

But there wasn't any. Instead, men in the community were very encouraging.

"They're like, 'we're so proud of you, we want our Muslim girls to get into fitness,'" says the Mississauga, Ont.-based fitness and beauty influencer.

Munir, who always wears a hijab at the gym, loves exercise more than almost anything else — she gets "cranky" when she misses a session — and loves sharing her routines with her more-than 55,000 Instagram followers.

But her motivation to work out goes deeper than just toning up and relieving stress. It is also tied to her faith.

"God has given you this body, so you have to be grateful for that, so you have to take care of it," she told HuffPost Canada news editor Emma Prestwich on an episode of the "Congregation" podcast, a show about how young people experience faith, belonging and ritual.

She doesn't think enough Muslims take care of their bodies the way they should.

In this episode, Munir talks about how she built her self-confidence as an athlete, why she donned the hijab and her thoughts on a controversial story involving a Muslim girl from earlier this year.

You can listen below, or on iTunes, Stitcher or Google Play. Leave us a rating and a review!

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