Ramadhan may be a month of sacrifice, fasting and abstaining from what we usually crave, yet it does not mean that we disregard our physical and mental well-being.
Fasting in and of itself is highly beneficial for the body as it helps in removing toxins, fights inflammation, increases productivity, and improves cholesterol levels. However, with the rapid change in your eating habits, it’s even more crucial to focus on your overall well-being.
Here are three ways to maintain your health in Ramadhan, both physically and mentally.
Reflect, Meditate and Step Back
This is the month to do exactly that! A month of reflection and contemplation, Ramadhan is a superb time to remove yourself from your daily worries and ask yourself the pertinent question; what am I doing? Journal your Ramadhan experience. Make a personal vlog. Spend a few moments at Tahajjud time pondering over your health, relationships and connection with Allah. The more we allow ourselves to reflect, the better the state of our mental health as well as our physical health.
Reflection lends the opportunity to figure out where things have gone wrong and what requires changing. It’s very common to race through life without ever pausing for thought. But Ramadhan brings things to a halt and gives us time to figure things out. It gives us the chance to ask important questions such as, ‘is this something I want to carry on doing?’ or ‘what am I grateful for?’. As a result, one begins noticing and challenging certain behaviours and begins to express gratitude for what one has.
Eat a Wholesome Breakfast (Suhoor)
Whilst Ramadhan is all about abstaining from food, it’s still important to manage your meals and ensure that your body is being fed the right foods. After all, you will be fasting all day and this change requires a fresh approach to your diet.
As your body will not be getting any nutrients throughout the day, eating a nutritious and wholesome breakfast becomes even more important. Try to eat a breakfast that consists of complex carbohydrates, as this will release energy slowly and prevent you from becoming hungry earlier on in the day. Bananas, oats, lentils and vegetables are great options as these will provide you with the energy you need throughout the day, which will consequently affect your mood and body.
Stretch That Body
Our bodies tend to tighten up when there’s a lack of movement and this is usually the case in Ramadhan. Stretching can do wonders and has also been found to benefit one’s mental health. With the many Youtube videos on stretching, you can stretch whilst standing, lying down or even whilst sitting in your office chair. In any case, stretching can help alleviate muscle tension and can give you the energy that you require to charge throughout the day.
You could also go for a walk. Doing this helps pump blood around our body and keeps our organs awake and functional. This helps in keeping our minds uplifted and our bodies energetic. Walk either before the suhoor or after the Iftar for the best results. Walk to the mosque if you can. If the mosque is very close, take a longer route. Whatever the case, find a way to fit at least a 30-minute walk into your day.
Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
Juber's favourite Quote...
"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]