Insha’Allah everyone’s been having a fruitful and blessed Ramadan; it’s the perfect time to pick up good habits and maintain them throughout the year. We tune ourselves up mentally and spiritually for the sake of Allah (SWT), so why not physically too? After all, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both.”
Sometimes, however, even those who live healthy lifestyles outside of the holy month tend to lose grip when Ramadan rolls around, because not eating or drinking takes a toll on one’s energy levels. Even still, it’s possible to get and stay fit. Here’s how!
1. Decide when to work out.
You have three options. Before iftar, after iftar in the time before Isha, or before suhoor.
Before Iftar: Work out for an hour or less prior to iftar. Give it your all, but remember not to over exert yourself. Break your fast with water and dates.
After Iftar: Eat something small and energizing. Proceed to work out and then have your main meal.
Before Suhoor: This course is best for those who eat a lot at iftar, or don’t have the energy to work out before iftar. Work out any time prior to suhoor and after taraweeh. Remember, what you eat when you break your fast makes a difference!
2. Be conscious of what you eat at iftar.
We all like to indulge after fasting all day, but it’s important not to eat excessively, especially when our dinner tables are laden with oily, heavy foods. Break your fast with water and a date as per Sunnah, and start with salad. That way, you’ll satiate your appetite with something healthy and won’t be as inclined to shovel down unhealthy foods and desserts.
3. Eat slowly.
Studies show that slower eating means less consumption (it takes 20 minutes for your body to realize it’s full) and better digestion because you are chewing your food better. This is important because people tend to overeat when it’s time for iftar, primarily because they’re eating fast and not listening to the body’s signals.
4. Stay hydrated.
I can’t emphasize how important this is, and by hydrated, I mean with water. Drinking two liters of water a day is recommended, and that’s just four standard bottles. It keeps your skin clear, your metabolism going, and your energy up. Replace all other drinks with water if necessary.
5. Don’t sleep all day.
Not only does sleeping right up until iftar defeat the purpose of fasting, but it keeps you slow and sluggish.
6. Be consistent!
Remember that making small permanent changes yields much greater results than drastic temporary changes. As we’re all trying to better ourselves in Ramadan, now is the perfect time to start.