Thursday,14 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1252, (25 June - 1 July 2015)
Thursday,14 December, 2017
Issue 1252, (25 June - 1 July 2015)

Ahram Weekly

How to survive Ramadan

Let’s talk about better living! Our new interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

There’s no doubt that fasting during Ramadan can improve one’s health, but only if it is done in the proper manner. The fasting period this year will last for more than 16 hours a day in extremely hot weather.

Now more than ever, it’s important to fast in as healthy a way as possible. Let this season be a time for a revival of the spirit, body and soul.

Even if you are generally healthy, it’s best to recognise that fasting during Ramadan may take its toll. With that in mind, consider making these lifestyle changes to get the best out of this Ramadan:

- During the hottest part of the day stay in cool areas (indoors or in the shade) and limit your physical activity. Rest, if possible.

- Don’t alter your sleeping habits. Sleep should not be relied on as a way to keep hunger pangs at bay.

- You should consume a hearty iftar and sohour to keep your body functioning during the long fasting hours.

- Follow the sunna and break your fast with dates and milk. These sources of simple sugar and protein are a great way to compensate for the energy that’s lost during fasting.

- Start your iftar with a warm, clear bowl of soup. This will prepare the stomach to receive other food better and with less discomfort.

- After the starter, it’s best to wait ten minutes before having the main meal. This way the stomach won’t be overwhelmed with a sudden, large amount of food, and you won’t feel overstuffed.

- Your main meal should be well balanced, with one source of lean protein, carbohydrates and raw or cooked vegetables.

- Eat whole grains and fibrous foods that contain protein and healthy fats to keep blood sugar levels stable.

- Substitute delicious Ramadan desserts with nuts and juicy fruits like water melon.

- Have a late sohour to provide your body with the energy it needs to maintain itself for the coming day. A nutritious meal includes a combination of complex carbohydrates (whole-wheat bread), protein (boiled eggs, turkey slices, white cheese), vegetables (freshly cut), and calcium (low-fat milk).

- Avoid eating salty, oily or spicy foods for sohour. They can increase your thirst during the day.

- Sip on water throughout the evening to rehydrate. Aim to drink a total of eight glasses, consumed in small quantities so you don’t feel bloated by bedtime.

- To make dishes lighter during Ramadan, adopt healthy cooking methods such as grilling, boiling, simmering and roasting. Add taste to food with vegetables, herbs and seasoning.

- To burn extra calories during Ramadan, go for a one-hour walk two hours after iftar three or four times a week, unless indicated otherwise by your doctor.

- If you follow a regular workout routine, the best time to work out in Ramadan is at night or before sohour: the body is more hydrated then. Focus on shorter but effective workouts. Do resistance and strength training instead of cardio.

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