How to Maintain Your Health During Ramadan
Ramadan is a meaningful time for faithful Muslims to demonstrate their devotion to Allah. It is focused on self-denial so the glory of Allah can be displayed. If you are of the faith, during this time, you can achieve spiritual cleansing and align your life with the will of the Almighty.
Ramadan also presents the perfect opportunity for Muslims to focus on attaining physical balance and health to make their lives more useful for the work of God.
However, a lot of followers of the faith often struggle with health concerns during this period of fasting and prayer. The deviation from their usual routine and the long fast cause them great discomfort.
Reports even reveal that during Ramadan 90 million of the 1.75 billion Muslims around the world complain of severe migraine headaches.
Health Tips to Implement for Ramadan
Allah is merciful and looks after the wellbeing of His dependents. He does not impose unnecessary suffering, especially during Ramadan. This is why those who are physically weak and sick, as well as those who have fragile health conditions such as pregnant women and really young children are exempted from the practice of fasting during Ramadan.
If you are healthy enough to participate in Ramadan, it is important to acknowledge that to outwork the health challenges of Ramadan, smart practices are necessary. These will help you withstand the effects of the denial of worldly pleasures so you can focus better on communing with Allah.
Discussed below are these health practices or tips to follow:
- Avoid caffeinated drinks.
Black tea, green tea, and coffee are rich in caffeine. Caffeine has long been considered a diuretic by health experts. This means that because of caffeine, the body is triggered to “eliminate” more often. Voiding and urinating more frequently will get rid of essential electrolytes which support muscle movement.
It is worth noting as well that caffeinated beverages can trigger headaches and insomnia in sensitive people, which are common health woes during Ramadan.
- Drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated is a must during Ramadan. But during the fast, drinking water is prohibited from the first light of dawn until the setting of the sun. On some days, the fast can last up to 15 hours.
Therefore, drink plenty of water between iftar and suhoor. More importantly, drink extra after iftar, because you will have been quite parched by then.
- Take oral care more seriously.
A long fast can lead to a dry mouth, and a dry mouth is often accompanied with bad breath. To prevent bad breath, observe the following oral care practices:
- Brush your teeth and tongue thoroughly before sawm (fasting from dusk till dawn during Ramadan).
- Use a mouthwash to keep oral bacteria at bay during the day.
- Use a miswak (this is a twig from the Salvadora persica tree that can be used to clean teeth) to pick at teeth as well as kill bad breath-causing bacteria throughout sawm.
- Eat energy-boosting food for suhoor and iftar.
Choose your food wisely during Ramadan and make sure that you are getting all the nutrients you need to sustain you for the fast. Suhoor and iftar, the meals before and after the fast shouldnot be focused on quantity but on quality.
Also, opt for baked or broiled dishes instead of fried ones. The oil from fried meals can actually make you lethargic and unfocused. Better yet, eat more raw options. Salads and fresh fruit are always a great idea.
- Get quality sleep.
Head to bed early and put in more hours of sleep at night.
However, if sleep does not come easily for you, try these methods:
- Drink chamomile tea. This can induce relaxation and make you feel sleepy faster.
- Consider an aromatherapeutic bath before bed not only to ease weary muscles but also to induce sleep more quickly.
- Get some exercise. Sit-ups, crunches, deep breathing and stretching exercises an hour before bed can help you fall asleep.
- Make your bedroom peaceful. Shut out sounds and turn off the lights.
If you are planning to travel to Makkah and Madinah during Ramadan, you should plan your stay well in advance. A good 5-star luxury hotel in Madinah like Shaza will take care of all your needs and ensure your comfort. You may even request for implements to make your room more ideal for winding down for slumber, such as lavender-scented sheets and better pillows for your neck and back.
Seek Allah’s Help
All the practices shared here can help considerably in maintaining your physical well-being throughout Ramadan.
But, more important than these is to always turn to Allah. He is the giver of health and He holds the days of your life in His hands. Trust His grace and power to strengthen you when self-denial makes you physically weak and weary.
Amjad Irshaidat is the Country General Manager – Saudi Arabia for Shaza Hotels. The 5-star Shaza Hotel in Al Madina combines sophistication and location in effortless style, with each suite being, by intention, an emphatic expression of generous warmth and Eastern hospitality.