Taking steps for a healthier Ramadan
Start exercising, stop smoking, and make smart food choices.
The Holy Month of Ramadan presents an excellent opportunity for a transition to a healthier lifestyle. At Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH), we strive to help you make these lifestyle changes sustainable and enjoyable.
Strength and movement
It is important to continue exercising during Ramadan to help maintain your emotional and physical well-being.
For exercise during fasting hours, choose cardiovascular exercises with light intensity, i.e., walking for 20-45 minutes before Iftar.
While fasting, avoid strenuous activities, such as running and weight lifting. These may lead to dehydration, fatigue, and low blood pressure.
An ideal time to exercise is around two hours after breaking your fast. This may include resistance training of moderate intensity for a maximum of 60 minutes, or moderate to vigorous intensity circuit training three days per week.
Smoking is an addiction and a habit. Breaking the habit and replacing it with a healthy one can help you quit for good. The Holy Month of Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to make this happen.
During Ramadan, smokers have denied themselves tobacco for around 15 hours of fasting each day. Use Ramadan as your opportunity to stop smoking, seek professional help, obtain support from family and friends, and consider using cessation aids to help you quit smoking.
Other activities that may help include:
• Write down at least five reasons that motivate you to stop smoking.
• List the foods and drinks you associate with smoking, such as coffee or sweets, and then avoid them.
• Get sufficient sleep, as a lack of sleep makes it much harder to resist cravings.
For more information on the JHAH Smoking Cessation Program, email SmokingCessation@JHAH.com.
Healthy food choices
Ramadan can be an opportunity to kick start weight loss. If this is a goal for you, it is a good time to start as fasting restricts the eating window to around 10 hours a night.
Tips to help
Break your fast with dates and water followed by light soup and salad. This technique will make you feel full on fewer calories, and help you manage your food consumption and reduce your overall calorie intake.
Make a conscious choice to replace fried and fatty foods, which are high in calories and can trigger weight gain, with high fiber foods such as vegetables. Keep your favorite veggies fresh in the fridge.
Eating more slowly gives your body time to recognize when you have eaten a sufficient amount of food, and this helps you avoid overeating.
JHAH Walking Trail
JHAH believes in building an inclusive, person-centered environment that supports health and well-being. To help achieve this, JHAH has introduced the enhanced Al-Jabal Walking Trail.
The trail is located at JHAH Dhahran, encircling the jebel opposite the main hospital building.
The rubber flooring of the walking trail is:
• Wheelchair and stroller accessible
• Shock absorbent for back support and foot comfort
• Slip resistant for safety
• Labeled with distance markers so you can track your fitness.