The fast of Ramadan is rigorous during the best of times.
During long and hot summer days, it may be required 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:
1. Prior to Ramadan, a Muslim should always consult with a doctor about the safety of fasting in individual health circumstances.
2. The best time to work out is about just before Iftar (the meal that breaks the fast.)
3. Pick low-intensity activities like walking, and low-impact classes like yoga, Pilates, and Body Balance
4. Avoid intense endurance, plyometric, speed and agility training. Just aim to maintain, not gain.
5. Stop exercising immediately if you feel dizzy or nauseous.
6. Even if you are generally healthy, recognize that Ramadan will take a toll. Plan your schedule and meals ahead of time in order to make sure you get the nutrients, hydration, and rest that you need. Fruit and vegetables ensure a balanced diet and assist in keeping healthy.
7. Eat suhoor just prior to dawn. Yes, it’s hard to get up at that hour, which is why it has many benefits and rewards. It will help you to wake up for the Fajr prayer. The suhoor meal is Sunnah. And this morning meal is generally recognized as the single most important meal of the day. Do not overeat, though. Focus on taking in foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates and protein, fruits or vegetables, and plenty of water. For example: an egg on whole-grain toast, a few crackers with peanut butter, some orange slices, and two glasses of water.
8. During the hottest part of the day, stay in cool areas (indoors or in shade) and limit your physical activity. Rest if possible.
9. 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.
10. During the early evening (after maghrib), have a healthy and balanced dinner. Do not overeat, and be sure to drink a few more glasses of fluids.
11. During the evening hours, resist the temptation to drink tea, coffee, and soda. When visiting friends or family, ask for glasses of water.
12. 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 more healthy than chocolates and candy.
13. Sip on water throughout the evening. Aim for 8 glasses by bedtime. To help you keep track, fill and refill a water bottle with a measured amount of water, and be sure to finish it.
14. Light exercise, such as walking for 15-20 minutes, is best done in the evening hours.
15. Avoid fried and spicy foods as they may cause heartburn or indigestion.
16. Speak to your doctor about an appropriate multi-vitamin.
17. Continue to brush and floss your teeth several times a day.
18. Wash your hands regularly, and avoid those who cough or sneeze. This is important to prevent the spread of viruses (such as seasonal flu and H1N1) and bacteria which may cause illness.
19. Quit smoking.
20. Organise your schedule so that you get enough sleep.
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If you ever thought good health is something achievable with the vastly sedentary nature of modern life, then you’d be surprised to know according to Yoga and Ayurveda, the key to a healthy body is, quite literally, in your hands.
Mudra, a Sanskrit word for ‘Seal’, is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism and is often dubbed as yoga for hands, which is meant to lock and guide the energy flow of the body by curling, stretching and crossing the fingers in a certain way.
The practice of Yoga and Mudra are similar and the hand positions are considered to amplify the energies around the practitioners, allowing them to enter a deeper meditative state.
UAE-based Indian HR professional Sujit Sukumaran has been a mudra coach for nearly a decade and possesses a strong passion for spiritual and alternative medicine, given his own experience of being a Cerebral Palsy survivor.
The 34-year-old is a strong proponent of the benefits of this simple exercise and has conducted various workshops at House of Om to promote it.
“The origin of Mudras can be found within the treatises of yoga, most specifically Patanjalis Yoga Sutras (a collection of 196 Indian aphorisms on the theory and practice of yoga),” Sukumaran said.
“While Yoga in its more popular form of Asana deals with postural exercises, mudras on the other hand deal with the five fingers on each hand and the attribution of each of the five fingers to an element across the five elements, which are: Fire. Water, Ether (Space), Earth and Water.”
“The science behind it is that at the tips of our fingers there are thousands of nerve endings. Additionally, there is a bio-charge we have within our body which forms part of an internal body circuit. The scientific assertion of Mudra in therapy is that when the nerve endings are connected and held in certain combinations, over a prescribed period, it results in desired effects.”
According to Ayurveda, illnesses are caused as a result of an imbalance of these elements in our body. Through various mudras, the elements can be brought back in to balance and harmony.
Sukumuran has championed the benefits of this therapy for years, but refuses to endorse a super-inferior paradox when it comes to comparing its effectiveness to other treatment methods.
While he has found mudras to be very effective in maintaining ones overall health, he insists it will not give you an overnight cure and should be paired with traditional treatments to stabilise an existing ailment.
“The main issue is people think it’s a magic pill or an antidote to all pre-existing anomalies. While mudras work, you must first stabilise the chronic ailment or imbalance before attempting therapy as a base, without which a superimposition will only complicate matters or have simply no results. Secondly, people expect overnight miracles,” he said.
“(Through my workshops) I hope to achieve greater awareness across three groups in specific. Teachers, Children and Corporates. Teachers because those who are in the field need greater awareness on therapeutics rather than making training courses a certificate granting exercise. Children and students, because there is a need for self, assured young people given the stresses they endure. Corporates, because in the rat-race, we are losing health, wealth and attention spans.”
Sujit Sukumaran currently manages a WhatsApp group where aspiring Yoga teacher and Mudra practitioners can communicate with on another regarding upcoming meetups and courses. Contact Sujit on [email protected] and mobile on 050-5669494.
Don’t let 2019 be the year when you’re looking back complaining about not achieving certain goals or mixing up your fitness routine.
To help, here are three ways to mix up your training programme to make a happier finish to the year.
There are plenty of excellent group fitness classes daily around Dubai and Abu Dhabi – with the chance to train either before work in the morning or the evening time.
All it takes is 45 minutes for a training session to make you feel mentally and physically sharp.
It may take a while to find a class that suits you, but if you go with friends, it’ll make it easier and more enjoyable.
The benefits of committing to a group class is that you’ll get pushed harder than an average training session on your own.
If you want to be committed to a class then book into 10 classes for a set fee and that will force you to go on a daily basis.
Although we’re not blessed with long stretches of sunlight in the evening, you can run any time of the day over here.
If you’re eyeing any fitness event across the calendar year, you should take advantage of running or walking outside in the morning before work or evening after work.
If you want to take it a bit more seriously, then invest in a sports watch or heart rate monitor which can be linked to many free apps on your IPhone (MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun).
JOIN A SPORTS TEAM
Being part of a sports club is the best way to keep fit and make friends. Spending one to two evenings a week with a team is a great method of socialising, keeping fit in a fun environment, and most importantly, taking your mind off the stressful demands of the working week.
Whether you’re in a new country or looking for a lifestyle change at home, being part of a team is one of the best ways to boost happiness and stay healthy.