Keeping Health and Fitness in Mind During Ramdhan

Alhamdulillah, we have been blessed to experience another month of Ramadhan. By this point we are almost half way through the month of fasting. We take this opportunity to get closer to God by means of fasting, prayer, quraan recitation, charity, and duas. In this blessed month we also find ourselves spending more time with our families during iftar (breaking of the fast) where there is a wide variety of food beyond your wildest dreams.  This is where one of our major downfalls is as many of us end up overeating to the point where even breathing becomes too difficult.

The issue of overeating is not the only major problem we encounter during Ramadhan, we also tend to have poor food choices available. We indulge in fatty rich foods such as fried samosas or naans that are dripping with butter as well as carb rich foods such as rice. Fruits and vegetables are not our main priority as majority of us just want to feed into our craving after fasting for long hours. However, consequences come with the unhealthy food choices that we make consisting of; weight gain, trouble breathing, gas pains, fatigues and weakness, as well as increase cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

With the excess food availability some of us even find the food going to waste as it does not get eaten in time. Nonetheless, we must keep in mind that we have been advised to avoid food waste with the Quraan stating “Eats and drink but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not those who waste” (Quran 7:31). Furthermore, with our ultimate focus being that we get closer to Allah, we should also make sure we are practicing healthy habits even during the month of Ramadhan to aid in optimizing our time for doing ibada (worship).

Here are a few useful tips to helping you keep a healthy body while aspiring for a healthy soul;

  1. Think soups and salads– After the breaking of your fast start your meal of with a soup filled with vegetables or a salad. This will help you stay hydrated and helps you restore your vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.
  2. Don’t skip suhoor– It is essential that you make time to wake up to have even just a light meal consisting of oatmeal with fruits or a veggi omelet with toast as this is what will give you energy throughout the day. Anas related that Rasulullah said: Take the Suhoor meal, for there is blessing in it (Bukhari, Muslim).
  3. Keep the carbs in check– Avoiding overconsuming on simple carbs  such as bread, cakes, sweets, fruit juice as those will make you feel hungrier much sooner and contribute to the weight gain. Focus on having complex carbs such as lentils, brown rice, beans, and other whole grain foods, those are what will provide you with that full sensation and not add on the weight.
  4. Keep moving– Try to maintain some form of exercise during this month even if it’s just 20-30 minutes of walking, This does not have to be during the fasting hours but can be done after breaking the fast. Exercise will aid in digestion and relieving gas pains.
  5. Avoid fried, salty, sugar rich foods- Although it may taste good at the moment, it contributes to the feeling of fatigue and adds to the thirst. Portion control and have a small amount of the not so healthy foods but incorporate foods from the other food groups such as proteins, fruits and vegetables, and grains. Also try to opt for grilling or steaming your foods to avoid the use of access fat.
  6. Stay hydrated– With Ramdhan taking place in the summer months, it is essential to replenish our water intake. Do not have large amounts of water at one sitting but rather have small sips through the time you are allowed to eat. Furthermore, avoid caffeinated drinks as this contributes to dehydrating the body.

Hopefully by putting to use some of these tips you will complete your month of fasting with ease and maintain a healthy body, mind, and soul. If you have other healthy tips to share for the month of Ramadhan feel free to leave a comment below and if you have any further questions regarding this post, send me a message and I will be more than happy to help.

Ramadhan Mubarak from your blogger,

Raya Haddass

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