Healthy fasting during Ramazan

Contrary to common misconception, exercise makes for a great energy boost during fasting

Creative Essa Malik July 01, 2015

Tips to help you counter your hunger and fatigue

During Ramazan, we have no choice but to ignore feelings of hunger and exhaustion. Considering that this year, each fast lasts up to 15 hours per day and that too in the sweltering heat of June, just keeping our eyes open during the day has become a challenge. But there are ways to curtail the roza-induced lethargy. Read on to find out!

1. Improve your breathing: This tops the list because the more time you spend on enhancing breathing, the healthier your cells will be. The shallower you breathe, the lesser the oxygen that is absorbed into the cells, brain and heart, thereby making one feeling low on energy. It is important to synchronise your activities with deep breathing until it becomes a subconscious habit. Remember to:

•  Breathe through your nose

•  Breathe deeply, using your diaphragm

•  Breathe slowly.

2. Exercise: It is a common misconception that exercise during fasting will tire you out even more. On the contrary, it makes for a great energy boost. After all, exercise is one of the fastest ways in which your body is prompted to breathe deeper. Therefore, make time for at least some exercise after sehri and feel more energised than before. Even just 15 minutes of brisk walking can go a long way.

3. Sleep well: As much as you want to sleep through this tiring month, know that too much or too little sleep will leave you feeling fatigued. Try sleeping for an ideal time only, say soon after taraweeh, so as to awaken refreshed at sehri. In fact, a quick nap in the afternoon is also great for energy levels during the day.

4. Pre-plan your schedule and stay busy: You can choose what your mind thinks about! Divert your thoughts from hunger and fatigue by scheduling your routine accordingly. Keep yourself busy as by giving your brain less time to think about anything else, you will focus less on the fast. Utilising your time for something meaningful, be it worship, homework, office tasks or simply spending quality time with your family is a must.

5. Think before you eat: Wanting to indulge in fried stuff during sehri and iftaari is natural but remember that these goodies will only leave you feeling tired and heavy. Plan your meals to include foods that helps sustain energy levels throughout the day. Also, make sure that you chew every bite properly and do not eat right before sleeping, especially sugar or starch-loaded meals. Most importantly, drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and alert.


Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, June 28th, 2015.


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