How to Prepare for a Healthy Ramadan During COVID-19 Pandemic

The blessed month of Ramadan has just started. It’s a time for introspection, self-purification, empathy, prayers, and charity. Also, it’s a great time for friends, family, and festive feasting.

This year Ramadan holds a special significance as you celebrate it during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a lowdown of tips to safely prepare yourself for Ramadan

Plan your meals in advance

Looking after your health and nutrition is vital during Ramadan, here’s where meal planning comes in. Unplanned meals are usually calorie-ridden and contribute to expanding waistlines. Meal prep during this holy month helps you to keep track of healthy eating. Avoid calorie-dense foods during Iftar. It may create a lot of discomfort post Iftar.

Include in your menu lots of fresh and unprocessed foods and keep yourself well hydrated. Meal planning comes in handy during this particular period of COVID-19; stocking up all the ingredients prevents you from venturing out often for ingredients’ shopping.

Likewise, meal planning helps you to save time and money, gives a more nutritionally balanced diet, and reduces the stress of last-minute decisions. Discuss with your family what types of food they like to eat, collect health recipes, and prepare yourself for the holy month.

Cut back on smoking and caffeine.

Reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke per day or better curtail this terrible habit altogether. Smokers may have reduced lung capacity or suffer from lung disease, which dramatically increases their risk of COVID-19. While smoking, you touch your lips where there’s an increased chance of viruses entering your respiratory system.

If you smoke shisha, there are high chances that you will share the mouthpieces and hoses. They may transmit the virus. Quitting smoking results in better taste and smell, enhances circulation, boosts the immune system, ensures clean teeth and mouth, lowers the risk of cancer, and ultimately offers boundless energy.

Reduce your intake of coffee or tea. This practice will lower the impact of caffeine withdrawal during the first few days of Ramadan. Caffeine is a diuretic and can lead to loss of water from your body. It even weakens your immune function that increases the chances of COVID-19 risk.

Reducing caffeine intake has other benefits as well. It frees you from needing a daily drug to function normally, decreases anxiety, provides good sleep, results in healthier teeth, and aids in weight loss.

Adjust your sleeping pattern

Sleep is crucial during the period of COVID-19 as rest supports your immune system and reduces the risk of infection. Also, sleep improves the outcomes of people fighting the virus. Good quality sleep is essential to be active and healthy.

During Ramadan, your sleeping pattern may change. Make a plan to include good quality sleep into your schedule. Go to bed earlier than usual. Try to go to sleep by 11 pm and sleep for 4 hours, then wake up at 3:30 am for Suhoor and Fajr and go back to sleep at around 5 am for two hours. 

Slumber in a little longer if you’re working reduced hours or nap after work to catch up on lost sleep. If you still have low energy levels, take a power nap of 20 minutes in a quiet place.

Prep an exercise plan

Exercise may reduce the risk of ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), which is the primary cause of death in patients with the COVID-19 virus. Our body naturally produces extracellular superoxide dismutase or EcSOD. This potent antioxidant fights free radicals and protects tissues. And guess what cardiovascular exercise increases its production.

So have clear fitness goals during Ramadan, and be sure to stick with it. This holy month is an ideal time to lose weight and cultivate some good eating habits, which can be beneficial for you throughout the year.

Give your body time to adapt to the fasting schedule. Stay active and refrain from looking at bulking up. Try to work out just before Iftar or after saying your night prayer. Try cardio workouts and strength training on alternate days.

If you’re planning to workout before Iftar, go in for stretches and low-intensity exercises. If you’re used to high-intensity practices, do them after your night prayers. The trick is to be physically active throughout the day to achieve your daily steps goal.

Stay safe during Ramadan

Practice social distancing and regular washing of hands. Visit your doctor beforehand if you have health concerns and follow his guidance. We hope all these tips would quickly help your body adjust to fasting mode and help you concentrate on your spiritual wellbeing.

Ramadan Kareem!