There are only two weeks left until the Hari Raya celebration. If you’re fasting, congratulations on making it this far! Keep the momentum going even after the fasting month is over to keep fit and healthy.
Ramadan not only gives us the perfect chance to do good deeds, but also to reflect on ourselves, our lifestyle, and our habits, especially when it comes to our diet. The holy month can also help us to start a healthier diet and lifestyle.
So keep up the good eating habits that you’ve picked up during the past two weeks. If not, it’s never too late to start eating and living healthily. Our tips are also perfect for those who don’t observe the faith.
Follow these 10 easy ways to keep fit and healthy during and after Ramadan:
1. Never skip sahur (or breakfast after Ramadan’s over)
Sahur is the most important meal of the day during Ramadan. Just like breakfast, the pre-dawn meal can give you plenty of energy to survive the fasting day if you eat the right foods that provide energy and hydrate adequately.
For a well-balanced meal, make sure you eat these during sahur:
- Foods high in protein: Replenish your energy with meat, yoghurt, cheese, or eggs.
- Foods high in fibre (and essential nutrients) – High-fibre foods, such as fruits (especially prunes and apricots), vegetables, potatoes, seeds, grains, whole wheat, bran, figs, dates, and cereals are digested slowly. For your body to stay hydrated, make sure you bulk up on foods that are high in essential nutrients like banana, which contains potassium.
- Foods high in complex carbohydrates – Feel full the entire day and maintain your blood sugar level by eating slow-releasing carb foods like fava beans, grains, lentils, wheat, and oats.
A well-balanced meal also helps you avoid overeating (during buka puasa or lunch and dinner). Once Ramadan is over, you can apply this when you eat breakfast.
2. Avoid or cut down on caffeinated drinks
Caffeinated drinks like coffee and some teas (like black tea or oolong tea) are diuretic, which can lead to dehydration as they stimulate water loss faster than non-caffeinated drinks. You can avoid them entirely during fasting.
If you must drink them, drink in moderation. To stay on top of your caffeine consumption, you may want to consider downloading caffeine tracking apps to help you determine the optimal time for a caffeine jolt, like Caffiend.
3. Stay hydrated during non-fasting hours
Water is integral to regulating blood volume, which in turn affects blood pressure and heart rate. When you’re dehydrated your blood volume drops, and so does your blood pressure, causing your hearts to beat faster. For some people, dehydration causes headaches or triggers migraines.
Whether you’re fasting or not, water is very important for proper hydration. Eight to 12 cups of water per day is recommended.
4. Avoid working out during fasting hours
For gym buffs, wait until the fasting hours are over. It’s best to work out after you’ve replenished yourself during buka puasa. Within two or three hours after buka puasa is recommended to start your exercise to allow your body enough time to digest food.
Remember to stay hydrated during and after your exercise, as sweating leads to mineral loss (or dehydration if you sweat excessively).
5. Eat in moderation (avoid overindulging during buka puasa)
Overeating tends to happen during buka puasa if you don’t eat the right food during sahur, which is why a well-balanced meal during sahur or breakfast is important. Start with a glass of warm water and some dates for an instant energy boost.
Next, enjoy a bowl of warm soup as an appetiser. Remember to eat a well-balanced meal just like during sahur. Eat slowly so your body can digest the food properly.
6. Have hearty soups as an appetiser
Hearty soups like sup sayur or sup ayam can provide the body with minerals, vitamins, and fluids that it needs, especially if they contain lots of vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, or carrots. That said, avoid eating soups that are too salty or oily.
7. Eat a balanced serving of fruits and veggies daily
If you’re craving something sweet, opt for fruits and vegetables as snacks instead. Keep yourself hydrated after buka puasa by eating fruits and vegetables that are high in water content, such as pumpkins, squash, melons, watermelons, and cucumbers.
Include these servings in your daily intake: one fruit of average size, a cup of mixed salad or leafy raw vegetables, and a half cup of fresh mixed fruits or vegetables (or drink 100% natural fruit or vegetable juices). These are only the minimum serving; you can always increase the amount to your liking.
8. Avoid bad foods
Avoid heavy oils, fats, sugar and processed foods. They are low in nutrients, high in fat, and they’ll deprive you of energy faster.
9. Do workouts that are suitable for the fasting body
Avoid putting too much strain on your body by doing exercises that are suitable for the fasting body, such as brisk walking, gentle jogs and other light aerobic workouts which you can do at home.
You can also walk instead of driving to the mosque for evening prayers or taking the stairs rather than a lift as part of your fitness routine.
10. Get plenty of rest and sleep
Fasting drains your energy so plenty of rest and a good night’s sleep is vital. It may also help you control your cravings when fasting.
Fitness-tracking gadgets are a great way to maintain a healthier lifestyle. If you’re looking for one, we have some good news for you. A Smart Health Bracelet worth RM250 and Tesco e-Voucher worth RM50 are up for grabs for those who apply for a Citi or Standard Chartered credit card on Bbazaar. Apply NOW to claim your prizes! Offer ends on July 31, 2018.
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