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by Unknown25 July, 2013

The holy month of Ramadan is more than just a time of fasting – it is a month of restraint for the entire body. It is the time where we make an extra effort to improve ourselves as human beings and practice our religion as best as we can. It presents a great opportunity to regulate our lives. However, the best benefit that can be derived from Ramadan is to carry the lessons learned from it, such as discipline and moderation, to the years that follow. The fast of Ramadan is rigorous even during the best of times, as the daily routine is changed quite dramatically. During long and hot summer days, it may be required to observe the fast for as many as sixteen or more hours at a time. To ensure adequate nutrition and continued good health, follow these tips:

  • Prior to Ramadan, you should always consult with a doctor about the safety of fasting, especially since it is coinciding with one of the hottest summer months.  Also, speak to your doctor about an appropriate multivitamin.
  • Even if you are in a generally healthy state, recognize that Ramadan will take a toll on your body. To ensure that you will get the nutrients, hydration, and rest that you need, try planning ahead. Schedule and plan your meals ahead of time.
  • During the hottest periods of the day, try to stay in cool areas, whether indoors or the shade. Limit your physical activity, and if possible, find time to rest even if it consists of just a 20 minute power nap. If you do want to exercise, stick to light walking for 15-20 minutes and schedule this in the evening hours of the day.
  • Eat Suhoor just prior to dawn. Although waking up at that hour is quite difficult, the rewards and benefits of this practice are large. The Suhoor meal is Sunnah, and will help you wake up for Fajr prayer. Try not to overeat at this time, and opt for foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates and protein, fruits and vegetables. For example, an egg on whole-grain toast, a few crackers with peanut butter, some orange slices, and two glasses of water.
  • Avoid gorging yourself when breaking the fast at sunset. Follow the Sunnah: break your fast with dates and either milk, water, or fruit juice. After the maghrib prayer, continue with a light starter such as soup and crackers. After a long period of fasting, you need to bring your fluids and blood sugar level up without overdoing it.
  • Drink plenty of water. Sip on water during the evening, aiming for 8 glasses by bedtime. A suggestion is to fill and refill a water bottle with a measurable amount of water, making sure to finish it. This helps you keep track. Also, during the evening hours, try resisting the temptation of drinking sodas, coffee, and tea. When visiting friends and family, as for water instead.
  • Serve yourself, your family, and guests a "dessert" of fresh fruit and nuts. There are lovely choices available in this season, and they are much healthier than chocolates and candy.
  • Avoid spicy or fried foods, as they may cause heartburn and indigestion.
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth regularly several times during the day.
  • Wash your hands regularly, and avoid people who are coughing or sneezing. This is important to prevent the spread of viruses (such as the seasonal flu and N1H1) and bacteria which may cause illness.
  • Now is the time to get rid of bad and unhealthy habits. Quit smoking!
As long as you organize and plan your daily schedule during Ramadan, you can get enough sleep and rest that you need.

Have a blessed month!