Ramadan is a special time of contemplation and togetherness. It also presents a great opportunity to make some lasting changes in our lives. Although it may be tempting to indulge after sundown, why not use this Holy Month as an opportunity to change some negative habits? Here are five tips to use this time to improve your long-term health.
Make better food choices
The time you eat is often as important as what you eat. During Ramadan, eating vitamin and mineral-packed Suhour will fill your body with energy and help regulate your blood sugar, setting you up well for the day ahead. Similarly, eating a balanced and varied Iftar is important; make sure it incorporates fruit, vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates, and not too many sweets in order to avoid weight gain. It’s best not to eat excessively large amounts of food at once either as this leads to extreme fullness and is bad for digestion. By ensuring you do not overeat and all the food you consume during Ramadan has optimal nutritional value, you are creating the habit of making better food choices.
Prioritize your rest
We should never neglect our rest as it’s crucial for recovery and recouperation. It’s advised to sleep for 6-8 hours a day to get sufficient mental and physical rest. Sleeping for less than 6 hours leads to tiredness during the day and this impacts our mood, activity, and productivity. During Ramadan, it’s vital to get into a good sleep pattern that ensures adequate rest but also supports your lifestyle and diet. Prioritizing your rest in this way is a fantastic habit that will become a cornerstone in your overall physical and mental wellness.
Hydration is central to our health and digestion. During Ramadan, try to drink at least 8 glasses of water between Iftar and Suhour. Dehydration can make us feel like we are hungry and cause us to eat far more than our body actually needs… So, drinking lots of water is also a great way to prevent overeating. Dehydration is also linked to constipation which can cause a multitude of health complications. So, get in the great habit of making sure you’re always hydrated properly.
Get more active
It’s unlikely the majority of people will want to exercise if they are fasting. However, studies have shown that it can be done with the right management. For those who would like to get more active, a long steady walk after Iftar is a great way to aid digestion, as well as build a new habit of exercising daily.
Stop smoking – for good!
Fasting smokers have a perfect opportunity to kick the cigarettes for good… Since you are already going without nicotine for the entire working day (and surviving!) why not keep going? Giving up smoking during Ramadan means that the initial tobacco withdrawal won’t be as pronounced, and you won’t be tempted to light up. A win-win!