Reset and renew in Ramadan: Stay healthy and fit in the Holy Month
Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare offers advice on how to maintain your health over Ramadan.
How can you be your best self during Ramadan this year? How can you connect with others while continuing to protect yourself and your community?
Read Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare’s (JHAH) expert advice to your frequently asked Ramadan questions.
How should I protect my health during Ramadan?
COVID-19 still poses a threat to our society, and so it is important to still continue to abide by the precautionary measures to prevent infection and stop the spread, and that is by following JHAH’s 3 W’s to stop COVID-19: Wash or sanitize your hands, wear a mask, and watch your distance.
Ramadan is a time for gatherings over Iftar or Suhoor, and if you gather safely, you can protect yourself and those around you. Avoid sharing food and utensils, gather in a well-ventilated venue or outdoors, keep your distance, wear your mask, and avoid touching your face.
I am scheduled to take the COVID-19 vaccine while I am fasting, will it break my fast?
You can still take the COVID-19 vaccination while you are fasting, as it will not break your fast. For more information on JHAH’s COVID-19 Vaccination program, visit https://www.jhah.com/en/new-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccination.
What are some of the health benefits of fasting?
Fasting can support adopting healthy eating habits, as the reduction in food consumed during fasting hours causes the stomach to gradually shrink. This means eating less and feeling full faster. Due to the lack of water intake during the day, thereby reducing fluids in the body, fasting provides a respite for the kidneys to eliminate waste. Fasting reduces the proportion of fat in the body, including liver fat, which activates the liver cells and helps to remove toxins from the body, and lowers blood sugar and reduces the risks of diabetes.
How can I safely fast if I am diabetic?
If you are diabetic and are on controlled diet, you need to speak to your doctor before fasting. If you are allowed to fast, you should follow the same meal plan, which includes three meals: (evening) Iftar, (Suhoor) Fajr and midnight. The Iftar meal should be taken right after sunset (not to be delayed) to avoid low blood sugar levels, while the Suhoor meal should be eaten as close to Fajr (pre-dawn) as can be permitted.
It is very important to monitor your blood sugar levels before meals and before taking oral medications or insulin, recording the results and discussing them with the assigned medical experts.
Can I diet and exercise during Ramadan?
Dieting during Ramadan is not recommended, instead try to stick to eating healthy foods and avoiding overeating. Follow a balanced meal plan.
As for exercising, you should avoid strenuous exercise during fasting hours, such as running or weight lifting. These may lead to dehydration, fatigue, low blood sugar, and muscle breakdown. Wait for two hours after your Iftar meal or before the Suhoor meal to give your body the chance to digest the food.
I’m feeling depressed, how can I improve my mental well-being during Ramadan?
Suffering from feelings of depression or anxiety? Refer to our Mental Health Tool Kit that was developed to help those struggling during the pandemic. Visit jhah.com/en/coronavirus/mental-health-tool-kit.
If you are in need of support, call JHAH’s emotional help line at 013-870-1919.
Looking for more Ramadan health information? Visit Our Health https://www.jhah.com/en/health-wellbeing/health-encyclopedia.