Ramadan Kareem: Special care for your health

The month of Ramadan is back with all its joys and festivities. However, as the heat shoots up and the days get longer, pay attention to your daily habits to avoid critical health hazards
The Community By Mohammad Abu Hawash
Published on July 1, 2014
dates and coffee
Cups of coffee and plate of dates.

Ramadan — celebrated by 1.6 billion Muslims the world over — is back again in a new form. As you prepare for the festivities and the good times, don’t forget to pay attention to our health. After all, this year’s Ramadan comes at the hottest time of the year — when the days are the longest. At The Community, we value your health. Below are a few tips that might make 2014 Ramadan safer and more fun!

STAY OUT OF THE SUN FROM 11AM-4PM

According to the World Health Organisation’s UV Index, the intensity of UV rays in the UAE range between 6/10 and 10/10 from 11am to 4pm. This not only increases the chances of developing cancer, but also leads to dehydration, something you don’t want while fasting. If you have to stay outside, be in the shade, wear a hat and take an indoor break as often as possible.

DO NOT EAT TOO MUCH AT IFTAR

Munching at your food as soon as you hear the Azan will make you hungrier. As the sun sets, don’t start gorging on food or snacking. This is bad for your health. Eating a lot at Iftar will cause you to gain weight. As you break your fast, follow the advice of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and eat your seven dates and water. Take rest and then pray. You can then eat while keeping the in mind: one third for your food, one third for your water and one third empty to ease digestion.

REST AT DAYTIME, BE LIVELY AT NIGHT

We are not asking you to become a bat, but most malls and entertainment venues in the Emirates will be open late at night during Ramadan. If you sweat it out under the sun, you will end up starving for the rest of the day and you will lose the energy to do anything at night when the real fun starts.

DRESS MODESTLY AND BE RESPECTFUL

If you are not a Muslim, keep in mind that Ramadan is the time to remember the poor and the suffering, and bringing the community together. Very simple acts like saying ‘Ramadan Kareem’ to your Muslim friends and not eating in front of them (trust us, they are hungry) will strengthen your bond with them.

30-EPISODE-LONG RAMADAN SERIES

Most TV channels around the Arab world prepare special TV series during the holy month. Their show times are usually at night, with repeat telecast the following morning. The immense variety of these shows is the best thing about them. There are comedies, dramas, soap operas, romance series, crime and much more!

VISIT FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS

One of the most heart-warming things about the month of Ramadan is gathering of friends and family members for an Iftar meal. In all cultures around the world, sharing food is known to strengthen family bonds and friendships. If you are not a Muslim, take part in an Iftar meal. It will be a learning experience and you will be appreciated by your Muslim friends.

VANTAGE POINT: CULTURAL EVENTS

There will be cultural and religious events for everyone throughout Ramadan. Many awareness programmes will also be held both Muslims and non-Muslims during this month. Attend these gatherings.

USE THE MONTH TO AVOID BAD HABITS

Smoking during the day will break your fast. Therefore, take advantage of this month. If you are a smoker, try to permanently stop smoking this month. You will realise how purifying this will be for you. Do not smoke too much at suhoor as it can make you thirstier.

HAVE SUHOOR!

Having one meal during the day is very bad for your health as you may end up cramming too much at once. By eating a small meal comprising carbohydrates and proteins at suhoor, you will eat more moderately during Iftar. The carbohydrates will also keep your ‘hunger pangs’ at bay.

TAKE IT EASY, DON’T PANIC AND ENJOY

Fasting is not impossible and adapting to the culture for non-Muslims is not difficult either. Instead of thinking about how hard this might be, forget the food and pay attention to the beautiful atmosphere that engulfs this region this month. Be opportunistic, this only happens once a year!

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