Muslims around the world are observing Ramadan and the annual fast that comes with it. For those not familiar with Islamic traditions, this is when Muslims abstain from food and water during sunlight hours.
This means that followers of Islam will wake early in the morning to eat breakfast, otherwise known as suhoor, before dawn and then wait until after sunset for the evening meal, known as iftar. For anyone, this can be challenging and, because of that, there are some exceptions to who is expected to observe the fast. Exemptions include children, those excused on medical grounds (pregnancy and diabetes etc…) and women on their menstrual cycle. These may be just some of the Ramadan facts that you were not familiar with before reading this article.
For those who are observing the fact, it is important to remember to look after one’s self during this month as fasting for long hours can have a profound effect on your wellbeing, both physically and mentally. Here, we have put together five tips on how to stay fit and healthy whilst fasting.
Never Skip Breakfast
You have likely already been told numerous times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that statement never rings more true than during Ramadan. Suhoor is the opportunity for Muslims to fuel their body ahead of a long day of fasting. Slow-releasing carbohydrates and high-calcium dairy are the pick of the day when it comes to suhoor, helping the body to feel fuller for longer. With suhoor coming just a few hours after iftar, you may not feel much of an appetite with the body still digesting the meal from the previous evening. With that being said, you must take on nutrition, especially liquids, before another day of fasting.
Keeping Your Mind Occupied
Ramadan is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. If you spend all day thinking about food and drink, naturally the fast will be much harder than it already is. If you find something to occupy yourself with, thus taking your mind off the fast, you will likely find things much easier. Office-based workers can throw themselves into their work while expending little physical energy, while others may look to make other arrangements to keep their mind busy while using as little energy as possible.
Exercise is always one of the most important aspects of leading a healthy life, regardless of whether you are fasting or not. Of course, exercising in the middle of the day, when it is forbidden to take on extra fluids, can present an issue and hitting the gym at night may not always be possible. If you can, however, incorporating as much exercise as you can, either early in the morning or after sunset, will help to keep your body fit and healthy, as well as aiding the metabolism.
Don’t Overeat at iftar
After a long day of fasting, by which time you are fully ready for the evening’s iftar meal, it can be tempting to want to fill your plate and go back for seconds. This is the worst thing that you can do because this goes against living a healthy lifestyle. In the evening, not long before you go to bed, your body will have less time to burn the calories you are taking on. By all means, make sure to enjoy iftar, but do so within reason.
Plenty of Sleep
This cannot be stressed enough, you need to make sure you get plenty of sleep during Ramadan. As you are fasting during daylight hours, you need to make sure that your body is recharged as much as possible. This also ties in with making sure that you don’t eat too much for iftar because going to bed on a full stomach makes it hard to get comfortable, which can eat into your valuable sleeping hours.
These five things may feel like common sense, but getting the basics right is highly important – fasting or not. By following these small things, you will have no problem observing this year’s Ramadan fast.
This post has been sponsored by i3media
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